Professor Oliver Freiberger (University of Texas at Austin)

Religion and Religions in the Construction of Early Buddhism

It has been suggested that the concept 'religion' is a product of European intellectual history and that modern Western scholars imposed it on non-European cultures, which, in fact, lacked such a concept altogether. This talk revisits the Western application of the term 'religion' to early Buddhism and examines early Buddhist texts in view of the concept. It suggests that already ancient Indian texts identify a particular segment of culture in a similar way as we identify 'religion' today. 

Oliver Freiberger. Photo: Ute Hüsken

About the lecturer

Oliver Freiberger is Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and Religious Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. He has authored two books and numerous articles on Indian Buddhism, asceticism, and theoretical issues in Religious Studies and (co-)edited various volumes on topics in the history of Asian religions.


Approx. 45 minutes. 42,7 MB

Published June 14, 2011 4:38 PM - Last modified June 15, 2011 11:26 AM