Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2024

Course Description

In this course, we will learn about the wide range of beliefs and practices that make up something we call “Buddhism.” We will study the history of Buddhism, from its origins in India to its condition today. In examining the historical development of different forms of Buddhism, we will also explore the ways that Buddhism has changed as it has grown in different countries in Asia and in the modern West. Class time will be divided between lectures, discussions, several films, and careful, close reading of Buddhist primary texts in English translation.

Student Outcomes

  • Gain knowledge about the historical development and key doctrinal concepts of Buddhism
  • Develop your ability to read and critically analyze primary religious texts
  • Refine your own thinking about non-Christian religions by examining your own values and presumptions
  • Hone your sense of empathy for other religious traditions and the ability to engage in constructive dialog about beliefs that differ from your own