HIS 306N • 1-History of Religions of Asia
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
This is a survey course of the major religious traditions of Asia. The approach will be quasi-historical. The main focus will be on the beliefs, practices, rituals, and customs of several major religions in social context. The course will combine lectures with numerous multimedia presentations to illustrate the readings and lecture instruction. We shall start with South Asia and its long standing religions of the Hindus, Jains, and the Buddhists. We shall also inquire into the more recent religions, either imported such as Islam, or newly developed religions in response to the needs for revitalization, for example, Sikhism. The spread of Buddhism from India to the rest of Asia will take us into Tibet and then into China. Considering the vast expanses of China and its long existence, we shall also examine several of the religious traditions that are of Chinese making, such as Taoism, Confucianism, as well as Chinese Buddhism. We shall study Zen Buddhism, with a brief look at the Japanese religion called Shinto. We shall also briefly "visit" other Asian countries and examine the kinds of Buddhism, people of those countries practice. We shall view the beliefs and practices in parts of South East Asia which have adopted Hinduism and transformed it into their own religion. Most Asian countries have several major religions well alive side by side, which requires considerable religious tolerance
Midterm 30%; Final 30%; Two quizzes 10% ea. Oral presentation or paper 20%; Attendance - obligatory; 90-100=A; 80-89=B; 70-79=C; 60-69=D.
Oxtoby, Willard G. (ed.), WORLD RELIGIONS: EASTERN TRADITIONS Buck, William. THE MAHABHARATA Foard, J. and M. Solomon (eds.), THE PURE LAND TRADITION Suzuki, D. T. ZEN MIND, BEGINNERS MIND Photocopied packet