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Buddhism in Russia: Introspection of Spirituality and New Modalities

April 18, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Buddhism in Russia: Introspection of Spirituality and New Modalities

April 18, 2023, 7:00 – 9:00 pm (HK time)
Language: English
Venue: G/F Lecture Hall, May Hall, HKU & via ZOOM (Registration is required.)
Registration Link: http://bit.ly/RussianBuddhism
Buddhism is regarded as a traditional faith in Russia and is part of the national spiritual tradition. Buddhism is a traditional religion for three regions of Russia: Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia. In the 17th century, Vajrayāna (Lamaism) Buddhism was brought to Russia by the cattle-breeding Buryats and Kalmyks who had come from Dzungaria (China) to the lower Volga. In 1741, Empress Elizaveta Petrovna recognized Lamaism in Buryatia and arranged for the formation of Buddhist monasteries. This date is considered the date of official recognition of Buddhism in Russia. 
During the Soviet period, the Buddhist clergy suffered from persecution and many lamas lost their land rights. Schools and monasteries were shut down, temples were robbed, and their material possessions were confiscated and put in museums.
At the same time, Russian intellectuals used Buddhism as a way to express their discontent with the social system and as a way to escape the harshness of reality. Unofficial Buddhist communities began to develop in the USSR and then Russia. Nowadays, Buddhism is present in Russia in a variety of ways: as an organized institution, unifying the traditional Vajrayāna communities; non-institutional Buddhism in the form of small groups of Mahayana and Theravada; lay Buddhism in the form of a philosophical and everyday cultural tradition. In recent years, the government has been offering substantial backing to Buddhist clerics in their educational pursuits.


Alexey MASLOV is a professor and the Director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies of the Moscow State University, as well as the President of the Foundation for promoting Buddhist Education and Research. He is a renowned scholar in Asian and Chinese studies in Russia, a governmental expert in East Asian relations, a visiting professor of several European and Chinese Universities, and he has published more than 20 books, including translations of Buddhist scriptures.

•ASIAR Research Cluster, HKIHSS, under the CRF Project “Infrastructures of Faith: Religious Mobilities on the Belt and Road [BRINFAITH]” (RGC CRF HKU C7052-18G)
•HKU Centre of Buddhist Studies


April 18, 2023
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


BRINFAITH, ASIAR research cluster, HKIHSS, HKU
HKU Centre of Buddhist Studies


G/F Lecture Hall, May Hall, HKU & Via ZOOM