Special exhibition on Buddhism unveiled at the National Museum of Scotland

We’re pleased to announce that an exhibition on Theravada Buddhism, supported by the Edinburgh Buddhist Studies network, has opened at the National Museum of Scotland.

Colour photo of two monks from Edinburgh's Dhammapadipa Temple welcoming a Buddha statue to the National Museum of Scotland.

This thought-provoking display charts the history and influence of the Theravāda Buddhist tradition across the world, including its role in Scotland today. The Theravāda tradition is one of the oldest forms of Buddhism. As one of the two main branches of the faith, it remains strong in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

The exhibition will be taking place from the 16 September 2023 – 9 June 2024 in Gallery 3, Level 1 of the National Museum of Scotland. Access to the museum is free, with no charge for this display and no need to book in advance to see it.

Theravāda Buddhism Exhibition

I’m so delighted to see this exhibition in its finished form, after several years of work by colleagues at the National Museum of Scotland bringing it to fruition. We at the Edinburgh Buddhist Studies network have enjoyed helping out with the plans and the text, and look forward to taking students and visiting scholars to view the displays. The exhibition makes it possible to view many Buddhist objects in the museum’s collection that are normally hidden away in storage, and to explore these objects within a curated introduction to key aspects of Theravada Buddhism.

Professor Naomi Appleton

Edinburgh Buddhist Studies

Edinburgh Buddhist Studies is a network of research scholars convened at the University of Edinburgh and with members from across the north of the United Kingdom.

There are two distinctive unifying features to the network:

  1. a truly inter-disciplinary range of expertise and interests; and
  2. a focus on Buddhism in a range of contexts and encounters with other aspects of culture and society.

Both are reflected in the events and projects that we undertake.

These include academic symposia, lectures, workshops, and publication, as well as media and public engagement.

Edinburgh Buddhist Studies


Image Credit: Duncan McGlynn