East Asian Buddhism

REL-B 310 — Fall 2024

Heather Blair
Days and Times
TR 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Course Description

This discussion-oriented course introduces students to Buddhism in China, Korea, Japan, and the East Asian diaspora. The course is organized into four units. First, we examine the structure of the Buddhist multiverse, from the heavens down to the hells. We then explore the monastery as a site for dedicated practice by religious specialists (mostly, but not exclusively, monks and nuns). Next we look at how rulers have used Buddhism for political purposes. Finally, we study pilgrimage, which brings people from all walks of life to sacred places. Course materials range from the classical to the contemporary, and from scripture to poetry to film.