FEATURED TOPICS including RELIGIONS in ASIA through ART

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Featured Topic: Buddhism

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The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan
New York University, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
Carved into the side of a mountain, the Buddhist cave temples at Xiangtangshan (“Shahng-tahng-shahn”) are the crowning cultural achievement of the short-lived Northern Qi (“Chee”) dynasty, which ruled over most of northeastern China from 550 to 577 ce. The name Xiangtangshan translates as “Mountain of Echoing Halls,” and refers to two groups of rock-cut shrines in Hebei province close to ancient Ye, the Northern Qi capital. The emperors and courtiers who commissioned the temples were non-Chinese, of mixed ethnicities from north of the Great Wall, and practiced Buddhism, a religion favored by this elite. In their entirety, these cave temples housed an awe-inspiring world below ground and reflect a long tradition, begun in India, of situating holy places within the earth itself. Includes 12 over life-size sculptures from this Buddhist cave temple complex with a full-scale, digital, 3-D reconstruction of the interior of one of the site’s impressive caves.

Go to Museum Resource: http://isaw.nyu.edu/exhibitions/echoes
Buddhist Caves at Ajanta
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
Learn about Buddhist caves. This is one of a series of caves excavated out of the volcanic rock that extends along a cliff overlooking the Wagora River at Ajanta, about two hours north of the present-day city of Aurangabad, in Maharastra state in western India.

Go to Museum Resource: https://education.asianart.org/resources/buddhist-caves-at-ajanta/
Buddhist Sculpture
Victoria and Albert Museum
An introduction to the V&A's new gallery exploring "the major Buddhist sculptural traditions of Asia." Twenty objects are introduced online; all objects have descriptions.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/b/buddhist-sculpture-v-and-a/
Buddhist Sculpture from China
China Institute
“The period covered by Buddhist Sculpture from China fits within Era 4 of the National History Standards, “Expanding Zones of Exchange and Encounter, 300-1000 CE”: Buddhist, Christian, and Hindu Traditions: Not only Islam but other major religions also spread widely during this 700-year era. Wherever these faiths were introduced, they carried with them a variety of cultural traditions, aesthetic ideas, and ways of organizing human endeavor. Each of them also embraced peoples of all classes and diverse languages in common worship and moral commitment….The entry of Buddhism into China and East Asia at the beginning of the Common Era is central to any perception of cultural exchange as playing “a crucial role in human history, being perhaps the most important external stimuli to change, leaving aside military conquest” (Curtin 1984: 1).”

Go to Museum Resource: https://china360online.org/?property=buddhist-sculpture-from-china
Chado: The Japanese Tea Ceremony
The Cleveland Museum of Art
This lesson introduces students to the Japanese tea ceremony to consider the art and the tradition of the tea ceremony and study the serving pieces used in the ceremony by participating in a tea ceremony. Students will learn the importance of the performance of tea ceremony through the history of how it became what it is today.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.clevelandart.org/lesson-plan-packet/chado-japanese-tea-ceremony
Chinese Buddhist Cave Shrines
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
Explores ancient Buddhist cave shrines in China, including why the sites were created and the major sponsors and patrons. Includes 4 min video.

Go to Museum Resource: https://education.asianart.org/resources/chinese-buddhist-cave-shrines/
Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism: How do different belief systems fit together in one country? [PDF]
The Field Museum
In this lesson plan students will explore three major belief systems in China–Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism - through art and artifacts. Through discussion and object-study, students will wrestle with how these different belief systems co-existed in China, and how they influenced and Informed each other. Spanish PDF also available.

Go to Museum Resource: https://www.fieldmuseum.org/sites/default/files/lifeways.pdf
Confucius, Shotoku, and the Golden Rule
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Confucian thought, Prince Shotoku’s Constitution, and the Golden Rule provide an opportunity for teachers and students to develop a shared vision for learning and classroom relationships. By looking at these ancient sayings, modern-day students can formulate their own rules of conduct.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.clevelandart.org/lesson-plan-packet/confucius-shotoku-and-golden-rule
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