Religious Studies | Introduction to Buddhism
R250 | 14473 | Quinter, D.


This course examines the historical development of Buddhism from its
origins in South Asia in the sixth to fifth century BCE, through the
transmission of the teachings and practices to East Asia, Southeast
Asia, and Tibet, to contemporary transformations of the tradition in
the modern West. In the first third of the course, we will focus on
the biographical and ritual expressions of the historical Buddha’s
life story, the foundational teachings attributed to the Buddha, and
the formation and development of the Buddhist community. In the
second third, we will examine the rise of the Mahayana, the
development of the Mahayana pantheon and rituals, and the spread of
Mahayana in East Asia. In the final third, we will explore the
Theravada tradition in Sri Lanka and Thailand and Tantric Buddhism
in India, Tibet, and East Asia. We will close the course with an
overview of Buddhism in the modern West. This course counts for
topics credit in the College of Arts and Sciences.