The Classical Art Research Centre of the University of Oxford announces that our fifth and final Gandhara Connections workshop will tackle the theme of Gandharan Art in its Buddhist Context – a fundamentally important topic for understanding this material. The workshop will be held online using Zoom and Spatial Chat, on Monday 21st to Wednesday 23rd March 2022. The organizers aim to provide simultaneous translation into Mandarin Chinese. The recording of the workshop will also be available online, and open access proceedings  will be published in March 2023.

Abstract

Gandharan art is of profound interest to researchers working on a wide range of regions and subjects
including, of course, the global connections of Graeco-Roman culture. But its immediate religious contexts
and its significance for the ancient Buddhist population are of primary importance. Over the last five years
the workshop series has considered this tradition in respect to the overlapping issues of chronology, regional
geography, cross-cultural influence, and modern reception. We now return to the monasteries and shrines of
Gandhara to understand more about why Gandharan art was made and what its iconography and stylistic
repertoire meant to its original users and viewers.

This effort is hampered by comparatively limited evidence for the original settings of sculptures, the loss of
less durable artistic media, huge gaps in our knowledge of the Gandharan settlements and their mixed
populations, and the small (though growing) body of literary and epigraphic evidence for cult practices and
beliefs. At the same time, it is challenging to correlate the archaeology of Gandhara with the vast and
complex body of literary evidence for evolving religious ideas and beliefs in other parts of the ancient
Buddhist world.

In this workshop, an invited panel of international speakers will apply their diverse expertise and the most
recent discoveries in order to try and tackle such challenges, animating the remains of Gandharan art with
fresh insights into their ancient function and meaning.

Download the latest programme here  (note that changes are expected – check here for the latest version)

To book a place for free please email us: [email protected]