Religious Studies | Zen: Meditation, Mysticism, & Irrationality
R450 | 3742 | McRAE


R450 Zen: Meditation, Mysticism ,& Irrationality (3 Cr.) T 6:00-8:00 PM
(section 3742) (McRae)

The goal of this course will be to explore the various strategies that
must be undertaken in studying a subject hidden behind barriers of
irrationality and cultural distance. That is, Zen and the goals of Zen
practice are frequently described as being beyond the capacity of the
rational mind to understand, so how may Zen be studied in an academic
setting? Can we take seriously within our rational inquiry the claims that
Zen is beyond such inquiries, and can we detect the religious, cultural,
and intellectual benefits such claims may provide to those who make them?
To what extent are these problems similar to those involved in studying
any "mystical" religion, a category to which Zen may or not belong?
A graduate student "piggy back" course (R554) is open without enrollment
restrictions; it will include extra discussion meetings and writing
assignments.