RELIGION 212 - Monks, Magic and Mediums: Buddhism in Southeast Asia
Section: 001
Term: FA 2019
Subject: Religion (RELIGION)
Department: LSA Studies in Religion
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

‘Buddhism’ typically evokes thoughts of monks, meditation and monasteries in the minds of Americans. Everyday religious life in Buddhist Southeast Asia, however, is also filled with astrologers, spirit mediums, amulets, shrines, deities, and ghosts. This course introduces students to the wide diversity of Buddhist actors, voices, activities, objects and places in contemporary Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

We will explore the social, ritual and material cultures of popular Buddhism that characterize mundane religious life in these countries. How, when and why do individuals seek out monks, nuns, astrologers, spirit mediums, exorcists, and esoteric masters? What goals shape the Buddhist practice of meditation, devotion, divination, renunciation, and pilgrimage? What sorts of ritual objects do Southeast Asian Buddhists create, collect and use in the pursuit of their diverse religious goals? How useful is it to regard these beliefs and practices as magical or superstitious? By the end of the course, students will understand how abstract Buddhist teachings, beliefs, and doctrines take on concrete meaning and significance in the everyday life of Southeast Asian cultures and communities.

Course Requirements:

Attendance and participation 20%; Reading reflections 40%; Formal essays 40%

Intended Audience:

Any student with an interest in Religion, Asian Studies, and Buddhist Studies. No knowledge of Buddhism or Southeast Asian Language, History or culture is necessary.

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly

RELIGION 212 - Monks, Magic and Mediums: Buddhism in Southeast Asia
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for RELIGION 212.001

View/Buy Textbooks
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

No Syllabi are on file for RELIGION 212. Click the button below to search for a different syllabus (UM login required)

Search for Syllabus
The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)