Over the course of its long history, Buddhism has been the most influential and widely practiced religion in Asia. Beginning in India 2500 years ago, it eventually spread to China, Korea, Japan, Tibet, and Mongolia, and to Sri Lanka and throughout Southeast Asia. More recently it has spread to Europe and the Americas. This course is an introduction to the major themes in Buddhist thought and practice. Beginning with the early teachings associated with the historical Buddha, the course will go on to consider the development of the tradition across Asia. The readings for the course will consist entirely of Buddhist texts in translation.
Attendance at lecture and participation in discussion section (25%)
Four two-page papers (25%)
Midterm examination (25%)
Final examination (25%)