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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 301R • History of Religions of Asia

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30395 MWF
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
BEN 1.102

Course Description

This course surveys the major religious traditions of South and East Asia. We will explore their practices, beliefs, and doctrines through their historical development, as well as their contemporary forms. We will begin with Hinduism and Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent and then follow the spread of Buddhism into Tibet and China. Chinese Buddhism leads us to the classical traditions of Taoism and Confucianism. In the last part of the course we will follow the adoption of Buddhism in Japan, and then turn our attention to Shinto, the indigenous tradition of Japan. This course gives us an opportunity to look at these traditions in a comparative perspective. Classes will include the study of sacred texts, academic articles, lectures, and film. As we inquire into the underlying questions and aims driving these traditions we may be able to reexamine our own religious and cultural traditions in a fresh perspective.

Grading Policy

Three quizzes 35% Four essays 40% Final 25% Regrettably, excessive unexcused absences and persistent failure to prepare the assignments on time have deleterious effects on final grades for the class. On the other hand, vigorous and informed participation in class discussions can help a grade. Other factors, such as a student's progress or effort in the course, may also affect final grades for the class.


Willard G. Oxtoby, ed., World Religions: Eastern Traditions. Second Edition Edward Conze, tr., Buddhist Scriptures R. K. Narayan, tr., The Ramayana Burton Watson, tr., Zhuangzi: Basic Writings Norman Waddell, tr., Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin


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