28 May Garbha, Dvāra, Loka: Toward an Economic Theory of Early Indian Buddhist Monasticism
Adam Krug (Religious Studies, UCSB)
Wednesday, May 28 / 4:00 PM
Adam Krug’s lecture will interrogate the category economy, broadly conceived, as a theoretical tool to interpret the abundant textual and archaeological data on the patronage and proliferation of Buddhist monastic institutions in India from the second century BCE to the sixth century CE. This period saw the construction of major Buddhist cave temple complexes, the codification of Buddhist and Brahmanical legal codes, and the growth of overland trade on the Indian subcontinent, accompanied by a flourishing maritime trade with the eastern port cities of the Roman Empire. The lecture will explore how some of the earliest major archaeological sites in India—the caityas (shrines), caves, and vihāras (monasteries) sponsored by lay, monastic, and royal patrons—might be seen as the products of (1) an internal economy, comprising a theological and cosmological system for organizing religious space and communities conceived of as an essentially economic force; (2) an external economy, comprising the broad trade networks in which these institutions participated; and (3) a threshold economy, encompassing the points of intersection in which these internal and external systems met along with the physical locations where we find many inscriptions recording these interactions.
Adam Krug is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at UCSB whose research interests focus on Buddhist traditions in South Asia and Tibet.
Sponsored by the IHC’s South Asian Religions and Cultures RFG.