2021-2022 Undergraduate Bulletin 
    
    Feb 04, 2023  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

REL 3630 - Buddhism: Texts, Meditation and Enlightenment from Ancient India to Contemporary America


Goals: To engage in an in-depth study of the Buddhist tradition, focusing on its origin in India, its development in Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Tibet, and the spread of Buddhism to America. We will look at both continuity and diversity within Buddhism, examining the different forms the tradition takes in various cultures and at the threads that run through all of them.

Content: We will examine various facets of Buddhism—e.g. meditation, ritual, ethics, devotion—and different types of Buddhist lives—e.g. Monastic and lay, contemplative and activist. We will read both primary texts (e.g. Sutras) and modern secondary literature, and will examine Buddhist thought and practice at the “elite” level as well as the popular level. A number of sub-themes and questions will run through the course: How has each culture been shaped by Buddhism, and how has Buddhism been shaped by the various cultures? What has been the interaction of Buddhism with other aspects of culture, and with the sociopolitical sphere, in each country? Special topics include women in Buddhism, conceptions of Nirvana, the ethics of Karma, Buddhist-Christian Dialogue, and Buddhism in contemporary America.

Taught: Alternate years

Credits: 4