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FALL 2016 Courses

BUX 120 The Study of Buddhism
Jay Garfield
M 7 - 9 pm

This course introduces students to the academic study of Buddhism through readings, lectures by Smith faculty and guests, and trips to local Buddhist centers. We will critically examine the history of Buddhist studies within the context of numerous disciplines, including anthropology, art, cultural studies, gender studies, government, literature, philosophy, and religion, with a focus on regional, sectarian, and historical differences. Materials to be considered include poetry, painting, philosophy, political tracts, and more. Meets during the first half of semester only. Graded S/U. (E) 1 credit

BUX 141 Introduction to Tibetan Buddhist Debating Styles
Ngawang Singey
T 1 - 2:50 pm

Critical analysis is highly esteemed in Tibetan Buddhism; as the Buddha said: “Monks and wise men, just as a goldsmith would test his gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it, so must you examine my words and accept them, not merely out of reverence for me.” Debate is a traditional technique in Tibetan monastic education for investigating philosophical concepts and sharpening analytical capacities. Taught by a Tibetan Lharampa Geshe, this is an experientially-based class presenting a challenging, interactive, and energetic approach to metaphysical and cosmic questions. Students get a brief overview of the Tibetan debate system and an opportunity to participate in a debate forum. Graded S/U only. (E) 2 credits

Robed Warriors seminar
Jay Garfield
Five evening meeting dates, one in fall and four in spring

Each of the visiting scholars in residence as part of the Robed Warriors series will lead a seminar open to interested students. Students wishing to earn one credit as a special studies course must attend five seminar meetings and register for a special studies course in Spring 2017. Meeting dates, speakers and topics: October 18 (the ven. Professor Carola Roloff, topic: Life as a nun and issues that women and Westerners face in the Buddhist World); February 7 (the ven. Dr. Joan Halifax Roshi, topic: Engaged Buddhism in today’s world), February 28 and March 7, (the ven. Dr. Yifa, topic: Buddhism in contemporary China); April 10 (the ven. Thubten Chodron, topic: A nun goes to prison: how a Buddhist nun brings compassion to the incarcerated). Graded S/U only. 1 credit

BUX J term course with fall semester application deadlines:

BUX 253j Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy and Hermeneutics
Jay Garfield

This intensive course is taught at the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, India as part of the Hampshire/Five College in India program. Students take daily classes, taught by eminent Tibetan scholars, in Buddhist philosophy, Indo-Tibetan hermeneutics and Tibetan history and culture, and they attend regular discussion sessions as well as incidental lectures on topics including Tibetan art history and iconography, Tibetan astrology and medicine and Tibetan politics. Students also visit important Buddhist historical sites and explore Varanasi, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Each student is paired with a Tibetan student "buddy" to get an inside view of Tibetan culture. Enrollment limited to 15, and requires application and acceptance by the H/5CIP. Pay attention to calls for early application. Deadlines fall mid-October. No prerequisites. {H}{M}{S} 3 credits

REL 105 An Introduction to World Religions
Carol Zaleski
TTh 10:30 - 11:50 am

An exploration of the religious texts and practices of major traditions (Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Jewish, Christian, Islamic) as well as those of smaller, more localized communities. Diverse forms of classical and contemporary religious experience and expression are analyzed through texts, rituals, and films as well as through fieldwork. Consideration will also be given to the role of religion in the American public sphere and in current world events. {H} 4 credits

Five College Courses Fall 2016

There are also many Buddhism-related courses offered throughout the Five Colleges. You can use the Five College Course Guide to find courses in Buddhism.

Amherst College
ASLC 144/RELI 143 Religion of Ancient India
TTh 10 - 11:20 am
Maria Heim

ASLC 152/RELI 152 Buddhist Traditions
TTh 1 - 2:20 pm
Maria Heim

Hampshire College
CSI 0143 Buddhism and Society
TTh 10:30 - 11:50 am
Sue Darlington

HACU 0260 Buddhist Mahayana Sutras
MW 1 - 2:30 pm
Rafal Stepien

Mount Holyoke College
RELIG 267 Intro to Buddhist Ethics
MW 2:40 - 3:55 pm
Suzanne Mrozik

UMass Amherst
JAPANESE 197C Intro to Japanese Religions
MW 2:30 - 3:45 pm
Reiko Sono

Graduate Study

Many students from Smith College have continued their study of Buddhism in graduate school. You could be next. See this online guide to graduate programs in Buddhist studies that was compiled by H-Buddhism.