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BUDDHIST STUDIES

School

Boston University Graduate Program in Religion

GRS RN 665

Art, Media, and Buddhism

BTI Category

Semester

Buddhist Studies

SP24

Examines how textual, visual, and material forms of religious expressions have been conceptualized by Buddhists as well as how Buddhist objects are understood and recontextualized in the West. Topics include: self- immolation; museums; war propaganda, and pop culture. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Historical Consciousness, Teamwork/Collaboration.

Professor

Class Day & Time

April Hughes

TR

12:30-1:45pm

Grading Option

Letter/PF/Audit

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisite?

N

Notes

N

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 3547

The Buddhist Body, Its Materiality, and Its Moral Cultivation

BTI Category

Semester

Buddhist Studies

SP24

This is a seminar for exploring Buddhist understandings of the human body, including such topics as the nature of its materiality, sensitivity and gender; specialized practices for the body's moral cultivation using imagination, ritual, and yoga; and types of embodied knowledge. Most readings will be primary sources in English translation, including Abhidharma materials, sutra and tantra passages, medical treatises, and descriptions of bodily performance in both ritual and artistic spheres. Students will write one midterm paper with critical reflection on course readings, and one final paper creatively engaging one or more primary Buddhist source, which may include a course reading.Background in the study of Buddhism preferred.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Janet Gyatso

W

3-5PM

Grading Option

Letter

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

Y

Online?

N

Prerequisite?

N

Notes

Enrollment limited to 16; students wishing to take the course should write a one page summary of their academic background and why they want to take the course. They will be notified of their admission before the pre-registration period ends.

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 3052

Mahayana Buddhism

BTI Category

Semester

Buddhist Studies

SP24

This course explores ideas and practices central to Mahayana Buddhism with an emphasis on ways of understanding the mind and approaches toward meditation. Mahayana is a diverse form of Buddhism found worldwide today and especially prevalent in Tibetan influenced regions, Inner Asia, and East Asia. Starting with the origins of Mahayana in South Asia, we study its expressions in a variety of cultures and time periods. We trace different Mahayana conceptions regarding the nature of our being, how and why ordinary mind operates in problematic ways, methods for spiritual transformation, and the goal of Awakening or becoming a Buddha. Related topics include the ideal of the bodhisattva, the implications of shunyata or emptiness, the relation between everyday truth and ultimate truth, and techniques for developing the heart. In English translation, we examine Mahayana Buddhist scriptures, traditional meditation manuals, and religious treatises from Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cultures. The final part of the course demonstrates how our study of Mahayana provides a basis for comprehending the tantric forms of Buddhism that emerged from it. All along, we discuss innovative contemporary Mahayana developments in America and across the world.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Elon Goldstein

TR

12-1:15PM

Grading Option

Letter, P/F, Audit

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisite?

N

Notes

N

School

Hartford International

TH-575

Buddhist Diversity in the U.S.

BTI Category

Semester

Buddhist Studies

SP24

This course provides a broad overview of Buddhist history, teachings, texts, and practices; surveys Buddhist diversity in the United States; and offers Buddhist resources useful to chaplains of any faith. Students will read, view, and reflect on weekly assignments, and will meet online in real time with the instructor at regular intervals to discuss students' questions and insights.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Wakoh Hickey

M

4-6:50pm

Grading Option

Letter

Credits

3

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

Y

Prerequisite?

N

Notes

N

School

Boston College Department of Theology

THEO5007-01

Mahayana Buddhism: Thought and Practice

BTI Category

Semester

Buddhist Studies

SP24

This course explores Mahayana Buddhist thought, meditation practice, narrative, and ritual practice across Asia. We consider texts ancient and modern. After a basic introduction to Buddhism, we take up topics ranging from meditation, to compassion, nirvana, emptiness, Buddha nature, Zen, and Mahayana Buddhist ethics. Our focus is on fundamental theological questions: What are the causes of suffering? How can meditation and ethical practices illuminate sufferings causes, and put an end to them? What is the state of unconditioned awareness, freedom, and joy that lies beyond suffering? Most importantly, what does this all have to do with me? No background in Buddhism is required.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Vale

TR

3-4:15p

Grading Option

L/PF/A

Credits

3

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisite?

N

Notes

Grad/Undergrad split

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 3477

Theory and History in the Study of South Asian Buddhisms

BTI Category

Semester

Buddhist Studies

SP24

This course does three things. First, it introduces the work of Pierre Hadot and Talal Asad and explores the relevance of their work generally for the Study of Religion, and especially their ideas of spiritual exercises, disciplinary practices, and tradition. Second, it looks at the reception of the ideas and approaches of Hadot and Asad in Buddhist Studies, with respect especially to the potential of their ideas for better understandings of Buddhist life in South Asia historically. Third, it reflects on the use of Hadot and Asad in Buddhist Studies as instances of what Edward Said called "traveling theory," especially with respect to what we can learn about what happens to ideas, given shape in one interpretive environment, when they are isolated from the interpretive context in which they originated and are then reintegrated into a new disciplinary environment.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Charles Hallisey

T

3-5PM

Grading Option

Letter, P/F, Audit

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisite?

N

Notes

N

School

Harvard Divinity School

HDS 3191

Buddhist Historiography

BTI Category

Semester

Buddhist Studies

SP24

A profound concern with knowing the past is centrally visible across the Buddhist world historically. This course is a critical introduction to Buddhist concern with knowing the past, both in terms of its major contours and the significance of historical consciousness in Buddhist thought and practice. Close considerations of examples of Buddhist historiography and especially on different ways of reading them are the main focus of the course. These examples will be drawn from different times and places in the history of Buddhism in Asia.

Professor

Class Day & Time

Charles Hallisey

R

9-11AM

Grading Option

Letter

Credits

4

Professor Approval Req'd?

N

Online?

N

Prerequisite?

N

Notes

N

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