Please note that there may be changes in the course descriptions (including the course literature) and the exam dates before the start of the semester in question. If few students are registered for a course, there may be changes in the lecture and examination types.
NB! As a result of the corona situation there may be changes in the assessment forms (course requirements and / or exam) spring semester 2020. Any changes will be announced in the relevant Canvas-room. All students must stay continuously updated on these changes.

PHI2300: Indian and Buddhist Philology 1

Time schedule | PDF-version for print

General information | Overlapping courses | Course requirements | Final assessment | Course objective and content | Literature 

Person responsible for the course:Jens Braarvig (
Credit points (ECTS):15
Start of studies:
Study programme:Bachelor's degree programme - Bachelor in Religion and Society
Department:Department of Education, Religion and Society

General information

This course is a cooperation between MF and The Norwegian Institute of Philology
To understand Buddhist history, religion and literature it is necessary to understand one or more Buddhist languages. The course/reading group studies Buddhist texts originally written in Sanskrit or Pāli and then translated into Chinese and Tibetan, or even other Buddhist languages such as Uighur, Tocharian, etc.
Participating in the reading group will create an important background for any topic concerned with Buddhist studies.
Procedures and curricula:
PHI2300 is both a course for students and a research seminar/reading group for more advanced students and researchers. The curriculum is adapted to current interests of the participants, and can be textual material used by students in their M.A. and Ph.d. theses, or texts of interest to researchers in Buddhist history and related subjects. The course/reading group will read Buddhist textual materials relevant generally in Buddhist studies. Autumn semester 2019 we will read the Aṣṭasāhasrikā, Proto-Avataṃsaka and the Mahālalikā, all in Sanskrit, with Tibetan and Chinese translations.
The PHI-courses in Sanskrit, Pāli, Tibetan and Classical Chinese constitute a good background for the course/reading-group. Ability to read at least one of the mentioned languages is a prerequisite.
This course is also offered at the master level for students with a relevant bachelor degree. For more information, see the course description for PHI5300.

Overlapping courses

PHI2300 overlaps with PHI5300. Students who have already completed PHI5300 will receive 0 credit points (ECTS) for PHI2300 on their transcript of records or diploma.

Course requirements

In order to receive a final assessment, the student must:
  • Participate in the electronic evaluation of the course if such evaluation is stipulated in the relevant term.
When course requirements are not fulfilled, this will count as one examination attempt, unless the student withdraws before the set deadline (1 May/November).

Final assessment

The final assessment is based on an essay submitted by the student (2000-2500 words). The topic of the essay will be related to the reading in the course and chosen in cooperation with the course instructor(s). The mark (A-F) is given on the basis of the written exam.

Course objective and content

The student has:
  • A good knowledge of one or more languages of Buddhist literature
  • A good knowledge of Buddhist philology as a discipline
The student can:
  • Work autonomously with Buddhist literature in one or more languages
  • Formulate independent research ideas related to Buddhist language and literature


Literature relevant to the texts chosen for the given semester.

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