Religious Studies | Topics in the Buddhist Tradition
R450 | 10069 | Drewes

Topic: Buddhist Sutras

This course focuses on Buddhist sutras, which are in many ways the
most fascinating of all Indian Buddhist texts. Traditionally
believed to have been spoken by the Buddha himself, they were
composed over roughly a thousand year period and serve as windows
directly into the world of ancient Buddhism.  Over the course of the
semester we will look at canonical and Mahayana sutras from a number
of different perspectives.  Along with sutras themselves, topics
addressed will include: preservation of sutras via memorization and
oral transmission, the development of Mahayana sutras, the status of
sutras as containers of sacred (powerful) speech, the “cult of the
book,” and traditions of using sutras for protection and medical
benefits.  Prerequisite: R250 or permission of instructor.