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SPRING 2017 Courses

BUX 213 Robed Warriors: Monastic Women Transforming Buddhism
Jay Garfield
Six evening meeting dates

This one-time course takes advantage of the visits of three eminent Buddhist monastic women from three great Buddhist traditions (Chinese, Japanese and Tibetan) who are each transforming Buddhist practice in the 21st century and are each transforming their societies through their distinctive approaches to socially engaged Buddhism. Students will be introduced to contemporary socially engaged Buddhism as a practice, and to its diverse manifestations, but also to the special role that monastics and monastic women in particular play in this movement. Four of the six sessions are taught by visitors, with a framing and a summary session taught by the course coordinator. (E) {H} Graded S/U only. 1 credit

BUX 273 Introduction to Mongolian Buddhism
Lkham Purevjav
Th 7:30 - 9:30 pm

Same as REL 273. This course begins with the early contacts between Mongols and Buddhists, including Chenggis Khan and Altan Khan (who named the Dalai Lamas in the 16th century), and Gushii Khan who elevated the 5th Dalai Lama to the throne of Tibet. We will explore how Mongolians explained their conversion to Buddhism and the process of cultural borrowing that created new cultural identities, institutions and individuals that make Mongolian Buddhism unique, including the continued interaction with native shamanism. We will end with literature on the Stalinist purges of the 70 year communist period and the rebirth of Buddhism since the 1990’s. (E) 2 credits

Cross listed courses:

REL 161 Introduction to Buddhist Thought
Jamie Hubbard
MW 2:40 - 4 pm

Enduring patterns of Buddhist thought concerning the interpretations of self, world, nature, good and evil, love, wisdom, time and enlightenment as revealed through major primary texts, contemporary writings and films. Enrollment limited to 35. {H} 4 credits

HST 201(L) The Silk Road and Premodern Eurasia
Richard Lim
TTh 10:30 - 11:50 am

An introduction to major developments and interactions among people in Europe and Asia before modernity. The Silk Roads, long distance networks that allowed people, goods, technology, religious beliefs and other ideas to travel between China, India and Rome/Mediterranean, and the many points in between, developed against the backdrop of the rise and fall of steppe nomadic empires in Inner Asia. We examine these as interrelated phenomena that shaped Eurasian encounters to the rise of the world-conquering Mongols and the journey of Marco Polo. Topics include: horses, Silk and Steppe routes, Scythians and Huns, Han China and Rome, Byzantium, Buddhism, Christianity and other universal religions, Arabs and the rise of Islam, Turks, Mongol Empire, and medieval European trade, geography and travel. {H} 4 credits

ANT 274 The Anthropology of Religion
Pinky Hota
MW 1:10 - 2:30 pm

What can anthropologists teach us about religion as a social phenomenon? This course traces significant anthropological approaches to the study of religion, asking what these approaches contribute to our understanding of religion in the contemporary world. Topics include religious experience and rationality; myth, ritual and magic; rites of passage; function and meaning; power and alienation; religion and politics. Readings are drawn from important texts in the history of anthropology and from contemporary ethnographies of religion. {S} 4 credits

REL 282 Violence and Non-Violence in Religious Traditions of South Asia
Andy Rotman
TTh 1-2:30 pm

What are the implications of a nonviolent morality? When are war and sacrifice not murder? This course considers the rhetoric and phenomena of violence and non-violence in a variety of religious traditions in South Asia, both modern and premodern. Particular emphasis on the ethical and social consequences of these practices, and the politics of the discourse that surrounds them. Texts and films concerning Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Christianity, and Islam. {H} 4 Credits

REL 304 Happiness: Buddhist and Psychological Understandings of Personal Well-Being
Jamie Hubbard and Phil Peake
Th 3 - 4:50 pm

Same as PSY 304. What is happiness? What is personal well-being? How are they achieved? This course examines the core ideas of the Buddhist science of mind and how they are being studied and employed by psychologists, neuroscientists, cognitive scientists and psychotherapists. The focus of the course is the notion of “happiness,” its cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary definition as well as the techniques advocated for its achievement by both the Buddhist and the psychologist. Prerequisite: PSY 100 or REL 105; or one course in Buddhist traditions; or permission of an instructor. {N}{S} 4 credits

PHI 330 Seminar in the History of Philosophy: Yogācāra
Jay Garfield
T 1 - 4 pm

This seminar examines the Yogācāra school of Buddhist philosophy, often represented as idealist, but also sometimes read as phenomenological. We read some classic Indian Yogācāra texts, some Tibetan discussion of Yogācāra, and examine the way ideas entered Chinese and Japanese Buddhist philosophy. We also read some contemporary studies of Yogācāra philosophy and recent Western and Indian idealistic and phenomenological work that resonates with Yogācāra ideas. Prerequisite: at least one course addressing Western idealism or phenomenology or one course in Buddhist philosophy. Enrollment limited to 15 students. {H}{S} 4 credits

Five College Courses Spring 2017

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
RELI 160 Buddhist Psychology Modern
WF 8:30 - 9:50 am
Andrew Olendzki

RELI 352 Buddhist Ethics
Time TBA
Elizabeth Angowski

Hampshire College
CSI 0220 Buddhism and Environment
TTh 10:30 - 11:50 am
Sue Darlington

HACU 0297 Yoga: History, Philosophy and Practice
TTh 12:30 - 2 pm
Alan Hodder

Mount Holyoke College
RELIG 163 Introduction to Buddhism
Time TBA
Suzanne Mrozik

RELIG 241/GNDST 210 Women and Buddhism
MW 1:15 - 2:30 pm
Suzanne Mrozik

UMass Amherst
CHINESE 397D Philosophy and Religion in Chinese Literature
Time TBA
David Schneider

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.