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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Religious Studies (RL ST)

RL ST 105 (GH;US;IL) Buddhism in the Western World (3) A general survey of the development of Buddhism as a religious tradition in the West, focusing especially on America.

RL ST 105 Buddism in the Western World (3)
(GH;US;IL)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

The academic study of religion is distinct from instruction in a religion in so far as one seeks simply to learn about religion, or religions, by considering the history, texts, major figures, and belief systems of one or more traditions. Because religions are always deeply intertwined with the entire cultural history of a region, studying a religion has always involved placing it in a larger cultural context. Buddhism in the Western World (RL ST 105) provides an intense concentration on a particular topic from the Buddhist religious tradition, focusing on historical, comparative, and phenomenological concerns. The course concentrates on the major figures involved, integrated with significant issues and religious practices in the development of the aspect of the Buddhist religious tradition under investigation. In many cases, across the face of Indian, Chinese, and Japanese Buddhism, gender, racial, and ethnic issues play critical roles in the development of the tradition studied, and these are explored in depth. Finally, the course examines the symbols, myths, and rituals of culture or cultures involved, which are radically different than our own, providing for each student the opportunity to compare, consider, and assess a wide variety of expressions of religiosity. Evaluation is research paper. Buddhist in the based on discussion, written assignments, and a major Western World, RL ST 105, offers a special focus on a particular aspect of one of the major religious traditions of the world. Because general approaches and methodologies in the academic study of religion are employed throughout the course, RL ST 105 is linked to all other courses in religious studies. RL ST 105 may be used to fulfill 3 credits in the Humanities, and may also be used to fulfill a US;IL requirement in the major or minor.


General Education: GH
Diversity: US;IL
Bachelor of Arts: Humanities
Effective: Summer 2005

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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