Buddhism is a non-theistic religion, a position articulated in the philosophical literature. Buddhist practice in the sub-continent however was also affected by pan-Indian concepts, such as darshana (to see or behold the divine). Naturally, Buddhist practice has changed over time and has different regional variations. We will explore the role of the Buddha image in ritual and meditation practice in India and Tibet both historically and in the modern period. Buddhist primary sources will be read in translation - English and some French. The seminar will develop around presentations and critical discussions of assigned readings and original works of art in local museums.