© 2012

Buddhism in Iran

An Anthropological Approach to Traces and Influences

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. The Beginning

  3. The Early Interactions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Mostafa Vaziri
      Pages 29-39
  4. The Traces

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 41-41
    2. Mostafa Vaziri
      Pages 43-66
    3. Mostafa Vaziri
      Pages 89-109
    4. Mostafa Vaziri
      Pages 111-131
  5. The Influences

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 133-133
    2. Mostafa Vaziri
      Pages 135-154
  6. Conclusion

    1. Mostafa Vaziri
      Pages 167-168
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 169-262

About this book


Exploring the interactions of the Buddhist world with the dominant cultures of Iran in pre- and post-Islamic times, Vaziri demonstrates that the traces and cross-influences of Buddhism have brought the material and spiritual culture of Iran to its present state even after the term was eradicated from the literary and popular language of the region.


Buddha Buddhism culture interaction philosophy

About the authors

Mostafa Vaziri is a visiting scholar in Anthropology and Oriental Studies at Princeton University.

Bibliographic information


"Mostafa Vaziri's treatment of Buddhism in Iran is the most comprehensive that I have ever seen. It is multidimensional and circumspect, and he admits where the evidence is circumstantial. The most important contribution lies in his anthropological approach that puts matters in terms of cultural interaction going both ways." - Michael G. Morony, professor of Near Eastern History, University of California, Los Angeles

"Buddhism in Iran is the first scholarly work on the subject matter which explores the topic in depth. Thanks to Mostafa Vaziri's diligent research, this much neglected area of scholarship has been brought to light." - Mehdi Aminrazavi, professor of Philosophy and Religion and Kurt Leidecker Chair in Asian Studies, University of Mary Washington

"In a pioneering fashion, this volume analyses an important topic that has been largely neglected: namely, the interactions of Buddhism with the Iranian plateau in pre-and post-Islamic times. This is an essential reading with a challenging and original approach for anyone interested in Buddhism, Sufism, and the formation of Iranian culture and iconography." - Denis Hermann, senior research fellow, CNRS, Mondes Iranien et Indien, Paris