Courses

REL 261 Religions of South Asia

This course will introduce the religious and philosophical traditions of South Asia. Particularly, it will focus on the historical, textual, and doctrinal foundations of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. It will analyze excerpts of their sacred scriptures, survey their beliefs, study their practices, and explore their ethical systems. Additional consideration will be given to contemporary issues facing these traditions.

REL 262 Religions of East Asia

This course will introduce the religious and philosophical traditions of China, Korea, and Japan. Particularly, it will focus on the historical, textual, and doctrinal foundations of Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shintoism. It will analyze excerpts of their sacred scriptures, survey their beliefs, study their practices, and explore their ethical systems. Additional consideration will be given to contemporary issues facing these traditions.

REL 263 Experiencing Mahayana Buddhism

This course introduces students to Mahayana Buddhism. It explores the development of Mahayana Buddhism, its relationship with other religious traditions, and its influence on culture. The primary teaching method is experiential. Students will visit temples in China and/or Japan, have instructions by an abbot, participate in the monastic life, will meet scholars of Buddhism, visit holy sites, and participate in Buddhist worship. The students will spend three days in a temple, joining the monks in meditation and religious practice. In addition to this experiential dimension, the course will familiarize students with the history, scriptures, and beliefs of Mahayana Buddhism through readings from primary texts, lectures, videos, and class discussions. It will further analyze the Buddhist response to general topics and problems, such as the absolute, the notion of self, the problem of human existence, as well as soteriological and ethical issues.

REL 364 Topics In Asian Religions

This course will explore one particular topic in the field of Asian religions. Likely topics include meditation theory, nationalism and religion, and theories of justice. This course is designed for students with a particular interest in Asian studies, religious studies, or philosophy.