Book Launch: Greeks and Buddhism: An Intercultural Encounter

Demetrios Vassiliades's picture
October 4, 2016 to October 7, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology, South Asian History / Studies, World History / Studies

Dear colleagues,

I’m happy to announce the recent publication of my book “Greeks and Buddhism: An Intercultural Encounter” (Athens, ELINEPA, September 2016).

If you are in Athens Greece (or nearby) you are invited to attend the launch of the book on October 6, 2016. Introduction by Dr Potitsa Grigoratou-Parnassos, Professor at People's University of Athens, specialist in the Graeco-Buddhist art of Gandhara. Speech with slide presentation by Dr Demetrios Vassiliades, Indologist and Director of the Athens Center for Indian and Indo-Greek Studies. All are welcome.

For more information and reviews, please send an email to

Kind regards,

Demetrios Vassiliades


Book Description

This book examines the inter-cultural contacts that took place between Greeks and Buddhism over the course of approximately two thousand and five hundred years and played an extremely prominent and dynamic role in consolidation of the ecumenical spirit in the Buddhist and European thought.

It is based on the author’s previous essays, enriched and expanded with recent data derived from historical records, popular beliefs and traveling impressions. It includes the early historical contacts ­ from the time of the Buddha up to the rise of the Graeco-Buddhist art, the impact of Buddhism on the Hellenistic Middle East and the formation of the Christian monasticism, and the works of Lafcadio Hearn,  Marco Pallis and Nikos Kazantzakis who made the Japanese, the Tibetan-Indian and  the  Chinese  Buddhism  known  to  the  Western  world.

Its objective is to highlight the way the ecumenical religions of Buddhism and Christianity were formed upon drawing timeless values from the rich Greek and Indian traditions. On this basis, we hope that the book will be a useful instrument to scholars and students of the world religion and civilization.



Historical Contacts & Influences
The Buddha and the Greeks
Alexander, Megasthenes and the Indian religions
Aśoka and the Expansion of Buddhism
Menander and the Adoption of Buddhism
Gandhāra  and the Rise of Graeco-Buddhist Art
Philosophical Influences and Parallelisms
References & Bibliography
Buddhism & Christianity
Comparative Attempts
The Theory that Jesus Christ Studied Buddhism in India
Buddhism and Gnosticism
Early Historical Contacts
Common Practices in Buddhist and Christian Traditions
Objections and Conclusions
References & Bibliography
Modern Greeks & Buddhism
I. Lafcadio Hearn & Buddhism
Hellenic Impact on Japanese Buddhism
Lafcadio Hearn ‒ Introduction of Buddhism in Japan
Lafcadio Hearn and Buddhism ‒ Sources and Influences
Buddhist Philosophy in the Light of Lafcadio Hearn
Concluding Remarks
References & Bibliography
II. Marco Pallis and Buddhism
Early Life and Musical Career
Absorbing the Spirit of Tibet by Direct Experience
Pallis’ Writings on Tibetan Buddhism
References & Bibliography
III. Nikos Kazantzakis and Buddhism
References & Bibliography
International Buddhist Conclave 2014 ‒ Visit to
Holy Sites of Buddhism
References & Bibliography
The Apollonian Smile
About the Author
Index of Proper Names
Contact Info: 
Athens Center for Indian & Indo-Greek Studies
15 Nikolaou Florou str.
Athens 11524
Tel. 0030-6977874652