East Asian Languages and Cultures | Literature of Meditation
E201 | 1589 | Bokenkamp
Meditation practices are central to the religious traditions of
China. Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism all teach specific body
practices aimed at the taming of the mind, the perfection of the
individual, and the accomplishment of other spiritual and physical
goals. While such methods are usually taught by Masters, the
disciplines of meditation have also become the pretext for a vast
literature. In this course, we will study poems, first-person
accounts, and manuals from China's three major traditions. The
questions that will guide our research include: How did meditation
practice differ across China's religions? How was experience
described in each of these settings? How did early authors solve
the problem of writing about the ineffable? And how can we analyze
the religious experiences expressed in such works?
This course satisfies the culture studies requirement. No
knowledge of Chinese is required. Students will be expected to
complete a series of short papers, quizzes, and a final paper on the
works studied and to participate in class discussions. The required
text will be a course reader.
This class meets with REL R202. Credit given for only one of R202
and EALC E201 on this topic.