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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Spring 2009

ANS 301M • Introduction to Buddhism

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30385 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
UTC 3.112

Course Description

This course is designed to provide the student with a structural and historical overview of Buddhism through the examination of various schools, doctrines, and religious practices. We will begin our study in India and look at the ways in which the contexts of post-Vedic civilization and orthodox Hinduism made Buddhism possible, and ask the following questions about Buddhism's founder: Who was the "historical Buddha?" What were the factors that led to his enlightenment? What did the Buddha teach, and what didn't he? How was the early Buddhist community structured? We will examine the developments in Theravada (also termed Orthodox or Southern) and Mahayana (Greater Vehicle) Buddhism and the spread of these two distinctive schools into Southeast and East Asia respectively. We will also study Vajrayana (Diamond Vehicle) Buddhism as it manifested in Tibet. Finally, we will examine the peculiar relationship that Buddhism has had with the West and explore the various ways in which European and American societies have embraced Buddhism and made it their own.

Grading Policy

Attendance/participation: 20% Three quizzes: 10% ea. Oral presentation: 20% Final exam: 30%


C. S. Prebish / D. Keown, Introducing Buddhism (or: Buddhism - the eBook) J. Strong, The Experience of Buddhism, 3rd ed.


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