NEW BOOK> Lewis Lancaster, “The Buddhist Maritime Silk Road”

Janet Goodwin's picture

crosspost from H-Buddhism

NEW BOOK> Lewis Lancaster, “The Buddhist Maritime Silk Road” 

Discussion published by Zhi Yue Shih on Wednesday, July 6, 2022

We are delighted to announce the publication of Dr. Lewis R. Lancaster’s latest work, The Buddhist Maritime Silk Road, now available online and in paperback edition. The book serves as an accompaniment to the Buddhist Maritime Silk Road—New Media Art Exhibition, currently held at the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum until May 2026.  

The Fo Guang Shan Institute of Humanistic Buddhism and Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum will be hosting two online panels in mid-July to celebrate the book's release. 

Please see the following for information on the book description, online panels, and exhibition:

Online Edition:
Google Books

Paperback Edition:
Fo Guang Cultural Enterprise Co., Ltd.

Book Description

The Buddhist Maritime Silk Road by Professor Lewis R. Lancaster is based on his series of lectures for the Department of Religious Studies at the University of the West. These lectures provide an overview of the search for models that explain how Buddhism spread from the Ganges Basin and came to be established in the Southeast region of Eurasia. The book also features full-color photographs from the Buddhist Maritime Silk Road—New Media Art Exhibition, displayed at the City University of Hong Kong and the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum in Taiwan.

As part of the data collection process, Professor Sarah Kenderdine (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland) received funding from the Australian Research Council to photograph Buddhist sites connected to the maritime route from India to East Asia in 3D and surround imaging. A sizable collection of high-density photos, videos, and sound recordings were produced as a result of more than three months of filming with camera crews in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, and China. These images were then installed as museum exhibitions by Professor Jeffrey Shaw (Hong Kong Baptist University) using 3D and virtual reality technology to allow visitors to experience the art, architecture, and cultural features along the journey from India to China.  The Buddhist Maritime Silk Road, published by Fo Guang Shan Institute of Humanistic Buddhism, is the companion book to the museum exhibition. It offers an explanation of the information gathered from filming and thorough research that shapes the narrative about Maritime Buddhism.

The book comprises five chapters:

  1. Introduction
  2. Origin and Spread of Buddhism
  3. The Great Circle of Buddhism and Its Rim
  4. Buddhism along the Sea Routes
  5. Conclusion

Online Book Launch

Chinese Panel: July 16, 2022  20:00–21:00 (Taiwan Time, GMT+8)
Discussion with Ven. Ru Chang, the main curator of the Buddhist Maritime Silk Road exhibition, and Dr. Hsinya Huang, the translation advisor to the Chinese edition.

  • Moderator:
    • Ven. You Xian (Deputy Director, FGS Buddha Museum)
  • Panelists:
    • Ven. Ru Chang (Director, FGS Buddha Museum)
    • Dr. Hsinya Huang 
      (Distinguished Professor of American and Comparative Literature, National Sun Yat-Sen University)

English Panel: July 17, 2022  10:00–11:00 (PDT) 
Interview with the author, Dr. Lancaster, regarding the groundbreaking perspectives and ideas put forth in the book.

  • Moderator:
    • Ven. Miao Guang (Deputy Chancellor, FGS Institute of Humanistic Buddhism)
  • Panelist:
    • Dr. Lewis R. Lancaster 
      (Emeritus Professor of the Department of East Asian Languages, University of California, Berkeley)

To receive the link closer to the book launch, please register here.
The English video will be posted on the FGS Institute of Humanistic Buddhism YouTube Channel.

Exhibition Info

The Buddhist Maritime Silk Road—New Media Art Exhibition is currently held at Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum (Gallery 3) from May 2021 until May 2026. 

To view the virtual exhibition, please visit: