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CB401 - School of Chinese Buddhism I: Pure Land School

The course will examine the socio-cultural circumstances that led to the rise and popularity of the Pure Land School (Jìngtǔzōng or Jōdokyō), both in China and Japan and its basic teachings. The course will focus specially on the religious and philosophical significance of the prayer to the Amida Buddha so essential in Pure Land pietism. The division of the school into Jodo and Jodoshin after its introduction to Japan will also be considered.

BP313 Madhyamaka: The Buddhist Doctrine of Emptiness

The course will commence with a review, in historical perspective, of the antecedent doctrines which led to the emergence of the Madhyamaka. It will be followed up with an in-depth study of the philosophical position of the Madhyamaka. The study will be based on the subject-matter of the Mūla-madhyamaka-kārikā, which is authored by Nāgārjuna, the founder of the Madhyamaka School.

CB301: Chinese Buddhism 1

Class Schedule
Jan. 27, Lecture 9: The beginning of Chinese Buddhism – Han Dynasty, the Three Kingdoms, and West Jin Dynasty (Ven. Zhecn Chan)
Feb. 3, Lecture 10: Fo Tucheng, Dao An and Kumārajīva
Feb. 10, Lecture 11: Southern Buddhism: Hui yuan and Sengzhao
Feb. 17, Lecture 12: Translation of Chinese Buddhism
Feb. 24, Lecture 13: Buddhist Studies Group
March 3, Students Presentation
March. 10, Lecture 15: Buddhist Conflicts

BP205 - Mahāyāna Buddhism: Basic Doctrines

The study will be mainly based on Mahāyāna literature (Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan) and is designed to provide an insight into the basic doctrines of main Mahāyāna schools. Attention will be focused on the following topics: Prajñā, prajñāpāramitā and dharmatā in the Prajñāpāramitā literature; the notion of Śūnyatā, tetra-lemma and the theory of two truths (samvrti and paramārtha) in Madhyamaka school; the Three Aspects (trisvabhāva), the theory of Representation Only (vijñapti-mātra), the notion of ālayavijñāna and the Path theory in the Yogācāra school; The tathāgatagarbha (the Buddha nature) theory; The critical Classification of Buddhism in Tien-tai School and Hua-yen School (Avatamsaka); Chan Buddhism from Buddhadharma to Hui-neng, and the Kung-an (Koan) in Chan practice; the theory and practice of Pure Land Buddhism.

BP309 - Theravāda Exegetical Tradition

A historical survey and a critical evaluation of the Buddhist exegetical traditions developed within the Theravāda tradition. Attention will be focused on the canonical antecedents of Buddhist exegesis, Buddhist hermeneutics of the Netti and Peṭakopadesa, methods of doctrinal exposition in the Pāli Aṭṭhakathās and Ṭīkās, and doctrinal developments through commentarial interpretations.

BH203 - History of Buddhism in India

The course focuses on the following aspects: the extent of the spread of Buddhism during the time of the Buddha and its impact on the contemporary society, Buddhist Councils and their importance in the history of Buddhism, formation of the Buddhist canonical literatures and its oral transmission by the bhānakas, development in Buddhist monasticism, emergence of Buddhist sects, growth of Buddhist rituals and concessions to popular religious needs, Aśoka and his contribution to the propagation of Buddhism in India and beyond.

BP201 - Early Buddhism: Basic Doctrines

The purpose of the course is to identify and interpret the original doctrines of what is generally known as Early Buddhism. Therefore the course will be mainly based on the Buddhist discourses of the Pāli Canon. Topics of study will include Four Noble Truths, Three Signs of Existence, Dependent Origination, Analysis of the empiric individuality, theory and practice of moral life, and Nibbāna as the final goal of religious life.

RB307 - Buddhism in Thailand

This course covers the rise and development of Buddhism in Thailand. It presents the interrelationships between Buddhism and Thai society. It includes various subtopics such as Buddhist influence in Thai politics, Thai education, Thai arts and architecture, etc. Contemporary issues regarding Buddhism in Thailand are also be discussed.

SK301 - Sanskrit: Grammar and Syntax I

The Devanāgarī alphabets and script; sandhi (internal and external); numerals (cardinals and ordinals); the conjugational classes I, IV, VI and X of thematic verbs in the present indicative; vowel gradation; prefixes and suffixes; declensional cases of nouns and pronouns of the three genders with vowel and consonant endings; introduction to Sanskrit samāsa (compounds) - dvanda, tadpurusa, karmadhāraya, bahuvrīhi; substantives and adjectives; adverbs; relative pronouns and indeclinablāes; the past passive participles; ātmanepada verb forms; passive construction; the future tense; the infinitive; the imperative and optative modes.

BH401 - History of Buddhist Thought in India

A continuous historical survey of Buddhist thought in India, focusing on the factors that led to the emergence of a wide variety of schools and interpretative traditions within the fold of Buddhism. The course will concentrate on the schools of Abhidharma, the rise of the Sautrāntika as a critical response to the Abhidharma, the Mahāyāna sūtra literature, Madhyamaka, Yogācāra and Tantrayān.

BP319 - Social Philosophy of Buddhism

The purpose of this course is to highlight the social dimension of Buddhist teaching. The main areas of study will include the Buddhist critique of the Brahmanical social hierarchy, Buddhist teaching on the origin and evolution of society, arises of human species, interpersonal relation, and Buddhist perspective of law, justice and punishment. The course will conclude an examination from Buddhist perspective of the contemporary social issues and problems.

BP209 - Theory and Practice of the Bodhisattva Ideal

The course will begin with a review in historical perspective of the antecedent teachings that led to the Mahāyāna version of the Bodhisattva ideal. This will be followed up with a discussion of the Thought of Enlightenment, the practice of pāramitas, the ten bhūmis as stages of spiritual perfection, and the centrality of the Bodhisattva ideal to the ethics and philosophy of Mahāyāna Buddhism.

PL201 - Pāli Grammar II

A continuous survey of Pāli Grammar covering all forms of declension, conjugation, sandhi, samāsa (nominal compounds) and taddhita (secondary derivation). The extension of sentences with adjectives, adverbs and indeclinables with the correct observance of syntax. Simple extracts, both prose and verse, from Pāli texts will be used for further clarification of syntax and for comprehension.

SS101 - Man and His Society

A general study of human society, which includes the following: a) general characteristics of human society; b) the influence of technology, environment and economic changes on human society; c) analysis of different types of societies to examine the relationship between society, environment and other external factors.

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