This course will discuss the social, economic, and cultural aspects of Buddhism as it moved along the ancient Eurasian trading network referred to as the a€?Silk Roada€?. Spring2016: This semester the course will focus on the impact of modernity on Buddhist Asia, beginning in the late 19th century, with a special focus on Japan where the impact of Western culture was transformative far more quickly than elsewhere in the traditional Buddhist world. Spring2015: Rather than approaching Buddhism as a belief system, this course examines how Buddhism is practiced in select South and Southeast Asian societies.
Spring2014: While including the monastic Theravada traditions of Sri Lanka and Thailand, this class will focus on the MahA?yA?na tradition of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, which herea€”uniquely in South Asiaa€”has survived till the present day.
Fall2010: This class will focus on the Newar Buddhist tradition of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. The treatment of the Newar Buddhist tradition will be brought to life by the extensive presentation of visual materials including documentaries, and rare and fascinating video footage. Fall2006: This semester the class will focus on the contemporary practice of Indic Buddhism in Nepal and Sri Lanka, the two areas in South Asia where Buddhism has survived uninterruptedly to the present. This course is an advanced introduction to the major teachings of Indian Buddhism and their philosophical elaborations.
Fall2012: This year's seminar will examine the formation of Buddhist traditions in Tibet from the tenth to the twentieth centuries. Spring2016: The seminar is split into two segments, which count each for two units and can be taken singly or combined. Fall2015: The seminar this fall will be dedicated to reading primary sources on lay practices in the tantric phase of Indic Mahayana Buddhism.
Spring2015: In Nepal alone Indian MahA?yA?na Buddhism survives in its original South Asian setting with Sanskrit as its sacred language.
Fall2012: The seminar is to provide a foundation for engaging with the core doctrines of scholastic Buddhism, notably its analysis of the person in terms of five skandhas.
Spring2012: In this class, we will be reading selections of early Buddhist court poetry (kA?vya) in Sanskrit. Students taking this course for two units credit will attend Section A alone, whereas students taking this course for 4 units credit will enroll in Sections A and B. Fall2012: This seminar is dedicated to select readings from the Nispannayogavali focussing on particular mandalas, notably the the Vajradhatu, the Dharmadhatuvagisvara, the Sarvadurgatiparisodhana, the Cakrasamvara and a mandala in the Guhyasamaja tradition, the Pindikrama.
Since this seminar can be taken for 2 units credit it is possible to chose only one rather than both segments.
There are no formal language requirements, translations for all of the poems and rhetorical discussions will be provided. Spring2009: This semester the seminar will focus on Candrakirti's Prasannapada Madhyamakavrtti, Chapter 24, using both the Sanskrit and Tibetan texts. Fall2006: This seminar is an intensive introduction to various genres of Buddhist literature in Classical Chinese, including translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian scriptures, Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, hagiographies, and sectarian works. Fall2005: This semester the seminar will focus on Tibetan primary sources for the study of Tibetan religion and cultural history. Spring2005: This semester the seminar will focus on the Vimalakirti Sutra, using the new edition of the Potala Palace Sanskrit manuscript as well as the various extant editions in Tibetan and Chinese. Spring2014: This seminar will explore the origins and early development of Rdzogs chen (a€?the Great Perfectiona€?) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Spring2013 (Section 1): The seminar will explore the development of early tantric Buddhism of the eighth through eleventh centuries.
Spring2013 (Section 2): This course in intermediate and advanced classical Tibetan will involve weekly translation assignments and a term paper. Fall2011: This is a reading course in classical Tibetan for students of intermediate and advanced abilities. Spring2015: While including the monastic Theravada traditions of Sri Lanka and Thailand, this class will focus on the MahA?yA?na tradition of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, which herea€”uniquely in South Asiaa€”has survived till the present day. This course is an introduction to the history of Buddhism in China from its beginnings in the early centuries CE to the present day. Fall2006: This course will acquaint students with key thinkers from the Zhou dynasty through the end of the Qing dynasty. We would like to inform all of you that due to the earthquake, there will be a delay in publishing 2015 courses at KIBS. Under the advice of Shangpa Rinpoche, founder of KIBS, Shangpa Foundation is setting up an emergency relief fund to provide immediate relief, recovery and restoration effort.
The fund will be used immediately to provide crucial relief and emergency aid, mainly the supply of food, medicine, water and temporary shelters. Next we will be providing support towards initiatives of rebuilding of homes for the homeless wherever possible. Our Retreats and Dharma Courses attract students from all over the world, and are suitable for people at all levels of knowledge and experience. Our teachers (Khenpo's or Rinpoche's) are deeply grounded in tradition, yet are equally able to communicate the teachings to the 'modern mind' - whether of the 'East' or 'West'. Our courses bridge the gap between theory and practice, and give you tools to make a difference to your lives. The Kagyu Institute of Buddhist Studies (KIBS) offers a range of courses, retreats and pilgrimages in a year.
Due to the exceptional location of the Institute, it is a particularly suitable place for personal retreat and study. May I ask whether the tracking of registered mail will include the time it will arrive at your doorstep?
These courses are now listed under Buddhist Studies and crosslisted with Chinese, EA Lang, Japanese, and Tibetan. Instead of relying solely on textual sources, the course will focus on material culture as it offers evidence concerning the spread of Buddhism. The first segment will be dedicated to the Theravada traditions of Sri Lanka, Thailand and Cambodia.
We will approach this tradition by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, the adaptation to the caste system, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle and other rituals, the tradition's narrative literature, etc. Whereas in India Buddhism did not survive beyond the 14th century, it has persisted among till the present day among the Newars, the indigenous population of the Kathmandu Valley. While in India itself Buddhism did not survive beyond the 14th century, it has persisted among the Newars till the present day in Nepal. Instead of set books there will be an extensive reader, which will be available on the day that classes start at University Copy on 2425 Channing Way. We will cover the core tenets attributed to the Buddha, and the later doctrinal and scholastic developments that turned Buddhism into one of the principal philosophical traditions of India.
We will read not only a variety of primary sources translated from canonical languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, and Tibetan that include poems by Buddhist nuns, records of Buddhist women and issues about women, but also contemporary reflections penned by Buddhist women and related scholarship on Buddhist women.
The life stories of the Buddha have been a reservoir for shaping the religious imagination and practice in South Asia and beyond for more than 2,500 years. Through close analyses of the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines, the Scripture on Meditation of Direct Encounter with Buddhas of the Present, the Lotus Sutra, and the Sutra on the Land of Bliss, students will be introduced to key problems in Buddhist intellectual, social, and ritual history.
This course examines how Buddhist practitioners prepare for this crucial moment through tantric meditation, imaginative rehearsals, sky gazing, extended dark retreats, and lucid dreaming. The course is intended to serve as a general introduction to contemporary Japanese religious themes, issues, practices, as well as the challenges facing Japan's religious traditions today.
After a preliminary review of the kinds of sources that are available to the Tibetan religious historian, class discussions will focus on a range of mechanisms for establishing authority, from polemical writings to lineage formation, visionary encounters and biography, to temple construction, sacred geography, and warfare.
I have manuscript copies for three of these texts, and will obtain copies of the fourth text, too. In addition to preserving and transmitting the Indian MahA?yA?na literary heritage, Nepal has also produced its own Buddhist Sanskrit literature. The first half of the class will be devoted to the circle of learned monka€?poets surrounding the seconda€?century Kua??A?a?‡a emperor Kania??ka, including AA›vaghoa??a, MA?ta?›cea?­a and others. In the first segment of the course (lasting until the beginning of March) we will study the Sanskrit text of the SvayambhA«purA?a?‡a. The Chengshilun is an Abhidharma text composed between the late third to early fourth century CE, which is extant only in KumA?rajA«va’s Chinese translation. 3:30-5) is jointly held with Buddstd C215 a€?Readings in Indian Buddhist Texts,a€? and will focus on reading relevant PA?li texts in the original. The readings will include the treatment of the introductory section of the Nispannayogavali. More precisely, we will focus on some of the surviving commentaries composed during the early phase of Buddhist presence in China (2nd-3rd century CE). The main emphasis will be on understanding Buddhist authors’ ideas concerning the nature and purpose of poetry.
Secondary readings may be supplemented by indigenous Chinese sutra and sastra materials such as Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, Visualization Sutra, Platform Sutra, Mulian Saving His Mother, etc. We will read examples from different genres of Buddhist materials, including biographical, doctrinal, ritual, and historicala€”geographical sources. We will supplement our readings of the Tibetan texts with a variety of secondary works on Buddhism in Tibet and the Himalayas.
We will supplement our readings of the Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese texts with a variety of secondary works on early Mahayana Buddhism.
Foulk will include Indian sutras and Vinaya texts in Chinese translation, indigenous monastic rules (qingui), and Chan texts (yulu, gongan).
The core texts for this seminar are a number of catalogs (dkar chag) of the Kama dating from the early 18th to the early 21st centuries. The course will proceed chronologically, beginning with the traditiona€™s origins in the late eighth and early ninth centuries and ending with the codifying work of Klong chen rab a€™byams pa in the fourteenth century. The central readings will be in classical Tibetan, some from the Dunhuang archive, though they will be supplemented by secondary sources in English. Readings will be drawn from two distinct genres of Tibetan literature, correspondences (Tib. The selected readings will cover several literary modes, including autobiographical narrative, dialogue written in the vernacular, contemplative instruction, and philosophical discourse. The course will proceed chronologically, from the early imperial period to the twentieth century.
In particular it will deal with the main phases of the development of Tibetan art, the development of Tibetan Buddhist iconography and the interrelationship of iconographic types, the relationship of distinctive iconographic subjects to particular schools or transmission linages and their changes over time, the relationship of different types of textual sources to imagery and the definition of Tibetan artistic schools in art historical terms. Through engagment with historical scholarship, primary sources in translation, and Chinese Buddhist art, we will explore the intellectual history and cultural impact of Buddhism in China. While the course is arranged chronologically, we will also take up more thematic considerations, such as the development of statecraft, the idea of the self, and the discourse on kinship. This will be distributed by our Sangha together with the Immediate Disaster Relief& Support Team directed by Sherpa Mountain Adventures. Finally, the fund will be used towards the restoration of monasteries under the guidance and supervision of Shangpa Rinpoche, mainly the damaged institute buildings of the Kagyu Institute for Buddhist Studies in Kirtipur, and others which are yet to be determined. The Institute is available for individual retreats that vary in duration from a week up to several months. The Freshman Seminar Program has been designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small seminar setting. Freshman and sophomore seminars offer lower division students the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member and a group of peers in a small-seminar setting.
Sophomore seminars are small interactive courses offered by faculty members in departments all across the campus. This course is an introduction to the history, institutions, doctrines, and ritual practices of Buddhism in Tibet.
This course covers the history of Mongolian Buddhism from its inception in the Yuan dynasty to the present. This course is both an historical introduction to the Silk Road, understood as an ever-changing series of peoples, places, and traditions, as well as an introduction to the study of those same peoples, places, and traditions in the modern period.
This course will explore the nature and function of Buddhist meditation as it developed within various Buddhist traditions of South, Southeast, and East Asia.


This course will examine contemporary Buddhism, its history, and basic concepts through a critical analysis of a series of films. A thematic course on Buddhist perspectives on nature and Buddhist responses to environmental issues.
The second (and longer) segment focuses on the tantric Mahayana tradition of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, the sole form of Buddhism surviving in mainland South Asia. Exploring continuities and ruptures, Nepalese Buddhism will be contrasted with Theravada Buddhism. This survival allows for the unique chance to study Indic MahA?yA?na Buddhism (and the manifold forms of tantric practice it includes) "on the ground" as a vibrant and dynamic religious tradition that concretely shapes and structures the lives of people and the culture and society they inhabit, and that in turn is transformed by the adaptation to this culture and society.
As far as possible we will do so in a comparative vein, in order to explore differences and commonalities between the Theravada tradition preserved in Sri Lanka and the Mahayana tradition preserved in the Kathmandu Valley. This course will introduce students to the Zen Buddhist traditions of China and Japan, drawing on a variety of disciplinary perspectives (history, anthropology, philosophy, and so on). This course will discuss the historical development of the Pure Land school of East Asian Buddhism, the largest form of Buddhism practiced today in China and Japan. The emergence of the tantras in seventh and eighth-century India marked a watershed for religious practice throughout Asia.
This course is an introduction to the study of medieval Buddhist literature written in Classical Chinese. This course is an introduction to the study of medieval Buddhist literature written in Classical Japanese in its wabun (aka bungo) and kanbun forms (including kakikudashi). This course will focus on specific themes, developments, and issues in the study of Buddhism. For this we will read select primary sourcesa€”in principle, extracts of the scriptures and later treatisesa€”and academic articles and book chapters.
We will discuss how this large literature and numerous images represent the experiences of women in Buddhism and reflect Buddhist concepts of women, gender, and sexuality.
By reading English translations of the primary sources (from Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Chinese, and etc) and modern scholarly interpretations on the life stories of the Buddha, we will trace this genre through various traditions and eras and examine how the changing versions of the life stories of the Buddha reflect change and continuity in the Buddhist traditions. Many of these practices, and Tibetan dream yoga in particular, are rooted in the contemplative traditions of the Great Perfection (Dzogchen). We will begin with a brief look at issues of modernization, imperialism, and nationalism during the Meiji and Taisho periods--a time when the state exercised considerable control over religious institutions. This seminar provides an opportunity for all students and faculty in the Group in Buddhist Studies to gather together on a regular basis to discuss recent theoretically significant works in the field of Buddhist Studies, as well as pertinent and important works in related disciplines (anthropology, art history, literature, history, philosophy, and religious studies).
The readings will procede chronologically, and class discussions will be supplemented with selections from Tibetan art dating from the period in question. A survey of the origins and development of the Abhidharma texts and commentaries in Pali and Sanskrit.
We will collate the texts and read them comparatively because they are closely related and incorporate partly the same materials. The focus has been on narrative works, and among these the SvayambhA«purA?na is the most important. The PaA±caskandhaka is a concise text, a primer of sorts, that we will be able to read in its entirety.
This is not only a seminal text for the Newar Buddhist tradition, but it is also an important example of how narrative Buddhist literature was produced as a means to localize the Indic Buddhist tradition in a particular place (in the given case, the Kathmandu Valley). The author Harivarman has extensive knowledge of Buddhist schools as well as their texts and doctrines, and his Chengshilun contains the most comprehensive (extant) collection of arguments regarding the disputed structure of mind.
The instructor will provide English translations of texts for the discussions in Section A.
In the absence of a satisfactory edition the readings will draw on manuscripts and the Tibetan translation. This largely unexplored body of exegetical texts (partly transmitted in the canon and partly recovered from manuscripts) is a first-rate source for the early developments of Chinese Buddhist thought during the crucial Han-Three Kingdoms transition. To do this we will attempt a comparison with contemporaneous works written by non-Buddhist poets. The course is intended for graduate students with a background in Buddhism, Chinese literature, or East Asian history or art history, who may not have a background in the study of Chinese Buddhism per se.
In order to effectively study Chinese Buddhism it is also necessary to utilize non-canonical sources along with texts not exclusively categorized as a€?Buddhist.a€? Therefore, this seminar will also involve the introduction to and reading of epigraphical materials, Daoist texts, and relevant sections from gazetteers. It will also serve as a tools and methods course, covering basic reference works and secondary scholarship in the field of East Asian Buddhism. This seminar is an intensive introduction to various genres of Buddhist literature in Classical Chinese, including translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian scriptures.
In addition to the primary texts (we will use the edition by Hu Shih, Shenhui heshang yiji, 1970), we will be consulting the voluminous body of unpublished material left behind by the late John McRae. Should we approach them phenomenologically, as attempts to denote and delimit a particular experience or understanding of the world that is immediately available to us as human beings? The other half will focus onA  medieval Chinese Buddhist documents related to debates concerning the distinction between sentient and insentient things.
The selection of primary texts will include works on visualization practices, liturgical manuals, early Shingon materials attributed to Kukai, and an assortment of Daoist works. This graduate seminar provides an introduction to a broad range of Tibetan Buddhist texts as well as to the methods and resources for their study. These catalogs were venues for the ongoing reflection regarding the identity and nature of the texts that belong within the canon and the place of the Kama within the Nyingma tradition more broadly.
Texts considered may include a short manuscript from Dunhuang, the 9th-10th-century writings of Nupchen Sangye Yeshe, the early Snying thig tantras and their Vimalamitra-attributed commentaries, and the writings of Longchenpa. Many of the readings were composed in Eastern Tibet in the 19th century and reflect the religious culture of this region and era. Genres consulted with include topical histories (lo rgyus), religious histories (chos a€?byung), clan histories (gdung rabs), monastic histories (gdan rabs), biographies (rnam thar), and more. This graduate seminar is an intensive introduction to primary sources used in the study of Chan and Zen Buddhism.
This seminar offers a multidisciplinary approach to the origins, development, and diffusion of Buddhist art and archaeology in South, Central and Southeast Asia. Special tutorial or seminar on selected topics not covered by available courses or seminars. Individual study for the comprehensive or language requirements in consultation with the graduate adviser. Individual study in consultation with the major field adviser, intended to provide an opportunity for qualified students to prepare for various examinations required of candidates for the Ph.D. Students will also be introduced to major issues in the institutional history of Buddhism, the interactions between Buddhism and indigenous Chinese religions, and the relationship between Buddhism and the state.
This course examines funerary practices in Chinese history, as a means to explore views of the body, the function of ritual, and conceptions of the afterlife.
A survey of the history of Chinese philosophy from late Chou times through the Ch'ing dynasty.
Much of class time will be devoted to careful readings of primary sources in translation, with attention to major themes and modes of argument. In addition to that, we wish to provide help towards the restoration of damaged buildings of other affiliated monasteries under the lineage. Freshman seminars are offered in all campus departments and topics vary from department to department and semester to semester. These seminars are offered in all campus departments; topics vary from department to department and from semester to semester. The central issues will be situated within their broader Indian historical contexts, and the readings follow a generally chronological order.
Sophomore seminars offer opportunity for close, regular intellectual contact between faculty members and students in the crucial second year.
The importance of Mongolian Buddhism to the greater dharma lies not only with the ways of its priests but also with the means of its patrons, the Mongol aristocracy, in forging a distinctive tradition in Inner Asia and disseminating it throughout the world.
In this way, the class is intended both as a guide to the extant textual, archaeological, and art historical evidence from the Silk Road, but also as a framework for thinking about what it means to study Asia and Asian religions in the context of a contemporary American classroom. Emphasis will be on the historical evolution, doctrinal foundations, and the monastic and extra-monastic regimens associated with Buddhist meditation practices. Students will be asked to explore the tension between East and West, tradition and progress, fantasy and reality as it unfolds in different representations of Buddhism. The first half of the course focuses on East Asian Buddhist cosmological and doctrinal perspectives on the place of the human in nature and the relationship between the salvific goals of Buddhism and nature. Across these Buddhist traditions we will examine how Buddhism is woven into the fabric of society, and shapes and structures peoples' lives. For this we will draw on material from Sri Lanka and Thailand, and consider the recent introduction of Theravada Buddhism to the Kathmandu Valley, and the impact of Buddhist modernism. We will approach the Newar Buddhist tradition and the dynamics of adaptation by examining particular themes such as Buddhist monasticism and its interaction with the laity, the adaptation to the caste system, the cult of stupas and images, festivals of Buddhists deities, life-cycle and other rituals, the tradition's narrative literature, etc.
The course will also explore a range of hermeneutic problems (problems involved in interpretation) entailed in understanding a sophisticated religious tradition that emerged in a time and culture very different from our own. The curriculum is divided into India, China, and Japan sections, with the second half of the course focusing exclusively on Japan where this form of religious culture blossomed most dramatically, covering the ancient, medieval, and modern periods. These esoteric scriptures introduced complex new ritual technologies that transformed the religious traditions of India, from Brahmanism to Jainism and Buddhism, as well as those of Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Korea, and Japan. We will read samples from a variety of genres, including early Chinese translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian Buddhist scriptures, indigenous Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, and sectarian works, including Chan gongan (Zen koans). The class will read samples from a variety of genres, including material written in China that are read in an idiosyncratic way in Japan. A One lower-division course in Buddhist Studies or the consent of the instructor is a prerequisite for enrollment. The course is intended to supplement our regular curricular offerings, and the content will change from semester to semester. This seminar-style class has a focus on discussions and students will write brief assignments, make presentations and write a final term paper rather than taking an exam. We will also examine how the life stories of the Buddha have been transformed and adapted and how they have influenced the religion, culture, and politics in different historical and geographical contexts. With its focus on the visual sphere and the lucid aspects of awareness, the Great Perfection seeks to unlock our habitual patterns of seeing to allow for a fuller range of visual experiences to emerge within the space of emptiness. We will then turn to the period of rapid political and social change that followed, which had a profound effect on all aspects of Japanese religious life. This course will begin with a brief introduction to early Indian Buddhism and an overview of the geography and the cultural and political history of GandhA?ra.
Judging by the titles found in the Tanjur catalogues there are further materials surviving in Tibetan translation, which we may also access. The focus will be on readinga€” in the Sanskrit original accompanied by Tibetan translationa€”the mentioned work by Advayavajra (aka MaitrA«pa) and Anupmavajra's A€dikarmapradA«pa. It dates to the late 14th or early 15th century and can be viewed as a response to the loss of the Buddhist heartland in India proper since the 13th century.
In addition to the recent Sanskrit edition (which is based on a manuscript that became available only in the last decade in China), we will also consult the Tibetan and Chinese translation.
Despite its importance, the SvayambhA«purA?a?‡a has not been properly edited, let alone translated into a western language. The course will normally focus on classical Buddhist texts that exist in multiple recensions and languages, including Chinese, Sanskrit, and Tibetan.
Harivarman and his opponents quote extensively from early sA«tras and other Abhidharma texts in their arguments, hence reading this text provides us the opportunity to correlate these quotations with extant sA«tra and Abhidharma texts preserved in Chinese, Sanskrit, and PA?li. Class work will also include working with the parallel material in the Vajravali and with commentaries on the Nispannayogavali. We will read a selection of these texts, analyzing their underlying historical, cultural, and social contexts, and focusing on their differences in terms of ideas and exegetical techniques, seen against the background of Indian Buddhist and Chinese indigenous traditions of hermeneutics. Particular attention will be paid to chapters two, five, eight, and thirteen of the root tantra, and to gain a clearer understanding of how early tantric Buddhists of India and Tibet interpreted these chapters, we will also consider Candrakirti’s Pradipodyotana and other commentarial material.


One of the goals of this seminar will also be to introduce students to the wide range of research tools for studying Chinese religious texts (dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, electronic databases, etc.) now available in Chinese, Japanese, and European languages.
The content of the course will be adjusted to accommodate the needs and interests of students. Are they exegetical works: attempts by the Chinese to grapple with various doctrinal formulations and puzzles found in Buddhist scriptures? Texts will include Chinese translations of Sanskrit Abhidharma works, as well as indigenous Chinese exegetical materials. Readings for the course will be drawn from a variety of genres and historical periods, including: (1) chronicles and histories, (2) biographical literature, (3) doctrinal treatises, (4) canonical texts, (5) ritual manuals, (6) pilgrimage guides, and (7) liturgical texts. In addition to being an excellent opportunity for a study of late premodern and contemporary Nyingma history, the readings for this course also provide for a detailed study of Tibetan philological and editorial practices, and the social history of book production.
Readings will be analyzed with an eye for historical developmentsa€”philosophical, ritual, doxographical, etc.a€”that unfolded under the umbrella of Rdzogs chen.
The correspondences selected for this class are letters exchanged between lamas and kings and concern a particular religious crisis in eighteenth century Tibet. Students will be assigned translation exercises and short research projects into the persons, places, and traditions mentioned in the readings.
Students will also be asked to supplement these primary sources with readings in relevant secondary scholarship. The seminar is designed to be of interest to a range of graduate students working on premodern Japanese culture (literature, philosophy, intellectual history, religion, art, etc.). It is designed to be of interest to a range of graduate students working on premodern Chinese and Japanese culture (literature, philosophy, intellectual history, religion, art, etc.). Seminar content will vary from year to year depending on faculty and graduate student research interests. We will consider the history of burial practice and tomb ornamentation, and the role of imperial tombs in the construction of authority.
Treated in some depth are a number of major Chinese thinkers including Confucius, Mencius, Hsun Tzu, Mo Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Tung Chung-shu, Chu Hsi, Wang Yang-ming, and Tai Chen. The course begins with the life of the Buddha, the early teachings, and the founding of the Buddhist monastic order. Themes include tantric myth, 'treasure' (terma) revelation, hidden valleys, the Dalai Lamas, exile, and more.
While maintaining a historical thread throughout, this course will examine in detail some of the tradition’s many facets, including Mongolian-Buddhist politics, the politics of incarnation, the establishment of monasteries, economics, work in the sciences, astral science and medicine, ritual practice, literature, sculpture and painting, music and dance, and more. We will make use of a wide variety of primary and secondary readings as well as visual materials (including films) to attempt to place the historical and doctrinal accounts within their cultural and institutional contexts. The second half of the course examines Buddhist ethics, economics, and activism in relation to environmental issues in contemporary Southeast Asia, East Asia, and America.
For this we will examine particular themes such as the different models of monkhood and monasticism, the adaptation to the caste system, the practices and role of the laity, kingship, life-cycle and other rituals, tantric practices, etc. In this way the class will not only make sense of a complex religious fielda€”the Kathmandu valley where Buddhism exists alongside Hinduism and indigenous traditionsa€”but also allow for more general insights into Buddhism and how it functions in society. Particular attention will be paid to the complex relations between Newar Buddhism and the Hindu and autochthonous religious traditions it coexists with.
The curriculum will begin with a reading of the core scriptures that form the basis of the belief system and then move into areas of cultural expression. The course will also serve as an introduction to resource materials used in the study of Chinese Buddhist texts, and students will be expected to make use of a variety of reference tools in preparation for class. Reading materials will include Chinese translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian Buddhist scriptures, scriptural commentaries written in China and Korea, Japanese subcommentaries on influential Chinese and Korean commentaries, philosophical treatises, hagiography, apologetics, histories, doctrinal letters, preaching texts, and setsuwa literature. To make sense of these ideas and practices, class discussion turns to modern parallels in the fields of psychology, philosophy, and film.
The course will examine a range of religious phenomena, including funerary practices, rituals for aborted fetuses and pets, pilgrimages, meditation, monasticism, temple succession problems and controversies, church-state relations, and so on. In the main part of the course we will draw on archeological and textual sources to see how the rulers, the Buddhist monastic community and the laity conducted their daily lives in GandhA?ra.
The class introduces to the SvayambhA«purA?na and its different versions, and will also consider the larger literary, religious and historical contexts in which this work was initially composed and then further developed. Without ignoring the large spectrum of versions and recensions (and the Tibetan translation by Situ Panchen Chos-kyi 'byung gnas) in which this work has been transmitted, we fill focus on the two shortest and oldest versions, which are composed in Sanskrit prose and verse respectively. Baums has been working with Buddhist manuscripts in Sanskrit and GA?ndhA?rA« for many years, at the Universities of GA¶ttingen, Copenhagen and Washington and at Bukkyo University in Kyoto. The comparative reading of these sources will inform about the history and development of Buddhist texts, schools, and their doctrines of mind. Given that most of these commentaries are explanations of translated scriptures, the seminar will also involve the analysis of early Chinese translations, making use of available Pali and Sanskrit parallels. Advanced-intermediate Tibetan is a prerequisite of the seminar; texts will be distributed in class.
Students are required to do all the readings in the original languages, which are classical Chinese (kanbun) and classical Japanese. The seminar will also introduce students to Asian and Western language reference tools for the study of East Asian Buddhist texts, including web resources. Topics may include the early archaeological and numismatic record, aniconic and figurative depictions of the Buddha and Buddhist deities, painted and sculpted narratives, studies of particular sites such as Polunaruva and Angkor, the caves of the Western Deccan, Buddhist Monasteries in the Himalayan region, and so on. We will devote particular attention to the way in which the disposition of the corpse functioned as a liminal space onto which debates about cultural values could be projected. One of the major themes presented in the course is the development of Chinese ethical theory and the role of language in moral education.
The course then progresses to the cosmological and philosophical developments of the MahA?yA?na, followed by the ritual and mythological innovations of the Buddhist tantras.
The course materials will be brought to life by the extensive presentation of visual materials including documentaries and rare video footage. Exploring continuities and differences, Newar Buddhism will also be contrasted with TheravA?da Buddhism. Another important topic will be the recent introduction of TheravA?da Buddhism to the Kathmandu Valley, and the impact of Buddhist modernism. It begins with an examination of the tantrasa€™ origins in India and tantric Asaivism in particular.
Readings in Chinese will be supplemented by a range of secondary readings in English on Mahayana doctrine and Chinese Buddhist history. The course ends by turning to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and how the westa€™s fascinations with this ancient text have produced a variety of unexpected interpretations of its significance. Readings will include primary sources in translation as well as secondary sources that provide context and supplement the lectures. We will try to answer the question how Buddhism was practised by each of these groups, how their interaction with each other was mediated by Buddhism, and how their individual aspirations and activities combined to shape the overall development of Buddhism in this crucial period and place.
While we have a good unpublished edition of the oldest and shortest version (of which two Tibetan translations are extant), the editions of the middle length version and the principal long version are unsatisfactory and will require that we work with manuscripts. We will access this commentary on the basis of the as yet unpublished edition of the Sanskrit text prepared by Jowita Kramer.
Prerequisite: A general background in Buddhist studies, and basic command of at least one of the source languages, viz. Tachikawa will bring into the seminar the rich visual material he has collected over many decades. Hartmann will refer to corresponding Pali passages and the Chinese translation of the DA«rghA?gama. It will also serve as a tools and methods course, covering the basic reference works and secondary scholarship in the field of East Asian Buddhism. The course will also introduce students to a€?tools and methodsa€? for the study of Tibetan Buddhist literature, including standard lexical and bibliographic references, digital resources, and secondary literature in modern languages.
The seminar will also serve as a "tools and methods" course, covering basic reference works for the study of Japanese Buddhism as well as secondary scholarship in Japanese.
The content of the course will vary from semester to semester to best accommodate the needs and interests of students.
Such debates include discussions about the appropriate degree of mourning rites in Warring States thought, filiality and cremation in Confucian discourse, mummification and auto-cremation in Buddhism, and issues surrounding burial in contemporary China. While the prior study of an Asian religious tradition, ideally Buddhism or Hinduism, is recommended, this is not a prerequisite and the course is open to all interested students. For this we will draw on material from Sri Lanka and Thailand, and consider he recent introduction of TheravA?da Buddhism to the Kathmandu Valley, and the impact of Buddhist modernism. The exploration of Newar Buddhism will be tied to other Buddhist and Indic religious traditions and their practice in society. From here, the course moves to the esoteric Buddhist traditions of China and Japan, to consider how the tantric developments of India came to be understood within these distant cultures.
Prerequisites: This course is intended for students who already have some facility in literary Chinese, and at least one semester of Classical Chinese is prerequisite for enrollment. At the end of the course, we will compare what we have learned about GandhA?ran Buddhism with contemporary developments in early Sri Lanka, and we will ask whether aspects of the social dynamic of ancient GandhA?ra are also at play in contemporary Buddhist societies in South, Southeast and East Asia.
However, rather than getting absorbed by philological details, the plan is to cover good ground, and to read through some of the main narratives.
This edition is likewise based on a manuscript that became available only recently in China. More than a hundred texts from a wide range of genres are now known, providing a unique window on the modes of textual production in early Buddhism, on the process of canonization of Buddhist texts, and on the emergence of the MahA?yA?na movement and the development of Abhidharma.
The content of the course will be adjusted from semester to semester to best accommodate the needs and interests of students. The seminar will begin with materials not typically associated with early Chan, including Tantric scriptures and ritual manuals associated with the Tattvasamgraha tradition. The content of the course will vary from semester to semester to account for the needs and interests of particular students. The content of the course will be adjusted from semester to semester to accommodate the needs and interests of the students.
In this way the class will not only make sense of a complex religious field, the Newar tradition of the Kathmandu valley, but also allow for more general insights into Buddhism and how it functions in society. In this way the class will not only make sense of a complex religious field, the Newar tradition of the Kathmandu valley, but also allow for more general insights into Indic Buddhism and how its functions in society.
Returning to India, we look at the later tantric developments of the MahA?yoga, YoginA«, and KA?lacakra tantras. Primary readings (in English translation) and scholarly studies will be provided in the form of reading lists and on bSpace.
The main part of the class will be devoted to a close reading of GA?ndhA?rA« commentarial texts. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor required for all students, with the exception of graduate students in EALC or GBS. The Chinese readings will be accompanied with a variety of recent secondary studies on early Chan, with a particular focus on the so-called Hongzhou school. Finally, the course closes with a unit on the largely indigenous Tibetan tradition of the Great Perfection (or Dzogchen). While the Pancaskandhaka offers a comprehensive summary of Abhidharma doctrine from a Yogacara perspective, the reading is also intended as a platform to engage more specifically with particular aspects of Indian doctrinal Buddhism, including a comparison with the Pali Abhidhammma where useful. The linguistic and literary side of the class will also be useful for Sanskritists not specializing in Buddhism. All readings are based on the recently discovered Sanskrit texts, and whenever possible the Tibetan and Chinese translations will be referred to. Time permitting, the Central Asian version of the PravA?ranasA«tra will be read as an example of a text reconstructed from multiple fragments.



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