Expansion of Buddhism into Southeast Asia

Since Buddhist monks used to travel with merchants, maritime trade relations between South and Southeast Asia played a major role for the expansion of Buddhism into the latter region. In mainland Southeast Asia, which entertained intense contact with Sri Lanka, Theravada Buddhism was predominant and survived even after the arrival of Islam and Christianity in the region led to the conversion of the biggest part of maritime Southeast Asia. In the latter region, Mahayana Buddhism prevailed and bore fruits like the construction of the Borobudur and other monuments in Java during the Sailendra dynasty, but its impact was less durable than on the mainland.

Related Information

  • Author(s):
    J. G. de Casparis
    6th century BC to 16th century AD
    Language of article:

    Buddhist Route Expedition. International Seminar for UNESCO Integral Study of the Silk Roads: Roads of Dialogue. 21-30 September 1995. Kathmandu, Nepal.

    Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Viet Nam

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