Religious Studies | The Perfection of Wisdom Literature
R552 | 3995 | Nattier


This course will focus on some of the most influential scriptures of
the “Perfection of Wisdom” group, including the Small Sutra, the
Large Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, and the Heart Sutra.  We will read
each of these carefully, with particular attention to three  issues:
(1) doctrine (especially the development of the “philosophy of
emptiness” for which these writings are famous), (2) practice (what
did a would-be Bodhisattva - - female or male, lay or monastic - -
actually do?, and (3) literary form (what can we say about the genre
of these texts, their relation to one another, and the progressive
development of the “Small” Sutra into the “Large”?).  All required
readings will be in English, though students majoring in Asian
languages will have the option of reading portions of these texts in
the originals.  Students must have previously taken R350 or R354 to
have permission of the instructor.