PREVIEW: Buddhism, British Library

The British Library will explore the rise of Buddhism in a new exhibition that will open to the public from the 25th October.

Discover how Buddhism grew from its beginnings in 6th-century BCE India to having over 500 million international followers today in this new exhibition at the British Library.

The exhibition will feature Buddhist manuscripts and artworks including rare treasures from the Library’s collection such as colourful scrolls, artefacts decorated with great detail and lavishly illuminated books spanning 2,000 years and 20 countries.

Visitors will be able to discover the women whose stories are told through Buddhist scripture while examining artefacts made by hand in a setting inspired by a Buddhist temple. Elsewhere, you will be able to explore sacred texts written on tree bark, palm leaves and gold plates to exquisite silk scrolls of major sutras and follow the life of the Buddha and his previous incarnations.

The display will also feature contemporary art work from Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan and ritual objects used in contemplative practice provide a window into everyday life in Buddhist communities in the 21st century to help to understand the current customs and beliefs.

While many of us will know about the principles of Buddhism, this extensive exhibition will help us to understand what the concepts of Buddhism mean in the 21st century.

The British Library’s Buddhism exhibition will be on display from the 25th October until the 23rd February 2020.

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