Ritual Arts in Hinduism and Buddhism




Worcester, MA


June 20-July 2, 2022


2 weeks


Professional Development Program

Professional Development Program Type

Professional Development Program Audience




The Institute will provide an overview of the distinctive rituals and the associated ritual arts of the great world religions found across South and Southeast Asia. It will give faculty an overview of the history of ritual and how art served praxis, addressing college course (over)emphasis on doctrine defining religious traditions. Leading experts will show how rituals express and act upon each faith's central beliefs; appreciating such holism will enable instructors to avoid reducing these traditions to merely philosophy or confine learning to what the small literate elite did or thought. Ritual and the arts were essential to guiding the devotional lives of most householders now and in the past: daily temple and home ritualism, the yearly round of festivals, life-cycle rites. Appreciating the role of statues, paintings, texts that are the focal points of praxis will open pathways to greater student insight about these traditions and add new vitality to courses. The institute's immersing faculty participants in major rituals brought to campus, as well as their participant-observation visits to the vibrant nearby immigrant Hindu and Buddhist temples, will also be a source of enrichment for the participants’ undergraduate teaching. The Institute will be enriched by an exhibition at the Holy Cross Cantor Art Gallery; participants will visit renowned collections in Boston (Harvard, MFA), a nearby Buddhist monastery, and a Hindu temple.

Project Director(s)

Todd T. Lewis

Lecturers and Visiting Faculty

Naresh Bajracharya; Gloria Chien; Richard Davis; John Holt; Jinah Kim; Ariana Maki; Justin McDaniel; Shree Padma; Charles Ramble

Grantee Institution

College of the Holy Cross

Funded through the Division of Education Programs