RELS351 Buddhism (3 semester hours)

This course is a study of Buddhism's major historical movements and cultural expressions. Students examine the origin and development of the teachings, rituals and institutions of the Buddhist tradition in South Asia since the beginning of the common era to the present day. Course topics include the life and times of Siddhartha Gautama (“the Buddha”); implantation in East Asian societies of the various forms of Buddhism that developed in South Asia; development of new Buddhist “schools” in East Asia; relationships between Buddhism and the other religious traditions in East Asia; relationships between Buddhism and the State; early Buddhist community; popular Buddhist piety and social movements; development of the three main branches of the Buddhist tradition, and the role of women in Buddhism.