Special Lecture on Buddhist Beginnings or How to Mediate between Wilderness and City Life

Start Date

23rd November 2023

End Date

23rd November 2023


03 : 00 PM

Audience Type



Vidyavihar - Mumbai


K J Somaiya Institute of Dharma Studies

Event Details

We are pleased to announce a special lecture on “Buddhist Beginnings or How to Mediate between Wilderness and City Life” on Thursday, 23rd November 2023 at 3:00 PM. The lecture will be delivered by Prof. Dr. Jens-Uwe Hartmann.

About the Speaker

Professor Hartmann is the Chair of Indology in the Department of Indology and Iranian Studies at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He has worked extensively on Buddhist Sanskrit manuscripts from Central Asia and Afghanistan, canonical literature of Buddhism, current developments of Buddhism in Asia, and the reception of Buddhism in the West. He has held visiting appointments at the Collège de France in Paris (2001 and 2004), the Centre for Advanced Study of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences in Oslo (2001–2002), the International College for Advanced Buddhist Studies in Tokyo (2002), the Soka University in Tokyo (2003), the UC Berkeley (2010) and the University of Stanford (2017).

His research centers on the recovery and reconstruction of Indian Buddhist literature on the basis of Indic manuscripts as well as translations into Chinese and Tibetan with a focus on canonical texts and works of poetry. His various authored and co-edited works include an edition of the Varṇārhavarṇastotra of Mātṛceṭa (1987), a study of the Dīrghāgama of the Sarvāstivādins (1992), the series Buddhist Manuscripts devoted to the publication of ancient Indic manuscripts from Afghanistan (2000, 2002, 2006, 2016), and From Birch Bark to Digital Data: Recent Advances in Buddhist Manuscript Research (2014).


The time of the Buddha and the beginning of Buddhism are associated with the so-called second phase of urbanization in ancient India. In a way, early Buddhism, like the other ascetic movements of the time, can even be seen as a reaction to this urbanization. It began as a movement of dropouts from society, of wandering ascetics who emphasized the need to leave the settlements and abandon social ties. Yet the very life of its founder is inextricably linked to urban centers of power, and the later success of the movement would have been unthinkable without the support of the urban elites. There is a tension, if not a contradiction because this growing success also requires ever greater interaction between the Buddhist ascetics and the lay communities that support them. In this lecture, Dr. Hartmann will argue, that this interaction reaches a new stage when the wandering ascetics finally settle in monasteries.

The lecture is open to all. 

Please register here to confirm your participation. 

For any queries, please write to dharmastudies@somaiya.edu

Date and Time: 3 to 4:00 PM; Thursday, 23rd November 2023

Mode: Hybrid

Venue: K. J. Somaiya Institute of Dharma Studies/Zoom

Somaiya Vidyavihar University, Mumbai