Ethics and Action in the Buddhist Cosmos|
Spring 2020 not offered
We often think about nirvana, or "enlightenment," as the ultimate goal of Buddhist practice. But the reality is much more complex. Buddhist traditions imagine a huge range of positive outcomes for moral behavior: immediate material benefits, rebirth in a better body or in a wealthier family, and enjoyment of gold-paved heavens or eternally blissful Pure Lands.
In this seminar we will read Buddhist scriptures, commentaries, biographies, narrative anthologies, and scholarly works that trace the many ways of thinking about ethics, action, and rebirth in the vast Buddhist cosmos. We will tour Buddhist heavens and hells, Pure Lands and political dystopias, as well as the complex worlds of Buddhist modernity. Along the way we will begin to think about key issues in the study of religion: narrative and ethics, magic and material culture, cosmology and sacred presence, modernity and globalization.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CEAS-MN)(CEAS-Phil/Reli)(RELI)
Sid Brown, THE JOURNEY OF ONE BUDDHIST NUN: EVEN AGAINST THE WIND
Stuart Chandler, ESTABLISHING A PURE LAND ON EARTH: THE FOGUANG BUDDHIST PERSPECTIVE ON MODERNIZATION AND GLOBALIZATION
Steven Collins, NIRVANA: CONCEPT, IMAGERY, NARRATIVE
Luis O. Gómez, LAND OF BLISS: THE PARADISE OF THE BUDDHA OF MEASURELESS LIGHT
Justin Thomas McDaniel, THE LOVELORN GHOST AND THE MAGICAL MONK: PRACTICING BUDDHISM IN MODERN THAILAND
|Examination and Assignments: |
Three critical reflection papers (2-3 pages each)
Short oral presentation(s) on course readings (1-2 per person, depending on on course enrollment)
One final research paper (15-20 pages), composed in three stages: proposal, rough draft, final draft
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills the "Thematic Approach" and "Historical Traditions" requirements for the Religion major.