Religions of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a microcosm of world religions. Although there is a deeply rooted tradition of Theravada Buddhism, the country is also home to populations of Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. Buddhism dominates the country's history, architecture, and politics, but not without conflicting and compromising with Sri Lanka's other religions. As an ISLE student, you will have the resources and freedom to pursue field research on Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, or Islam. 

Program Highlights

"The ISLE Program gave me a much more complex, deep, and tangible understanding of religious practice in a multicultural, ethnic, and religious environment." - Fall '16 student 

  • Earn one semester course credit with a class on Theravada Buddhism or Buddhist Ethics
  • Experience an archeological tour of ancient Buddhist sites in the Cultural Triangle region
  • Participate on field visitits to Buddhist meditation centers, pilgrimage sites, and temples
  • Witness and take part in Buddhist ceremonies and celebrations
  • Conduct a four-week independent study project on a topic of your choosing
  • Live with a Buddhist host family

Relevant Independent Study Projects

  • Miriam Fraga (ISLE '17): "Defining Marriage: A Study Focused on Mixed Marriage Rituals between Sinhala Buddhists and Sinhala Catholics"
  • Emily Jolkovsky (ISLE '17): "Dana and Social Engagement: A comparative analysis of the Buddhist philosophy of ethics and how it can be applied to healing ethnic and socioeconomic divides in Sri Lanka"
  • Omar Sohail (ISLE '14): "Suffocating Diversity: The Significance of Location Politics in the Rise of a Global Ummah on Intra-Muslim Discourse"
  • Sam King (ISLE '12): "Perceptions and Actions of Sri Lankan Buddhist Monks in the Context of War" 
  • Mimi Amelang (ISLE '11): "The Pentecostal Experience in Sri Lanka"
  • Sarah Lord (ISLE '08): "Tough Love: Mother Goddess Worship in Sri Lanka"