Indiana University Bloomington
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Introduction to Buddhism



This course is intended to serve as an introduction to Buddhism, broadly conceived. We will survey the development of Buddhist thought and practice, from its origins in India to its subsequent expansions into other parts of the world. The course has two main aims: to familiarize you with basic Buddhist ideas and practices as these have taken shape in various historical and cultural settings, and to invite you to think critically and carefully about these ideas and practices and what they imply for those who espouse and engage in them. In pursuit of these aims, we will be reading a number of primary sources in translation, together with several additional texts that will help you to contextualize this material. We will be screening several films as well. No previous knowledge of Buddhism is necessary, nor will any be presumed.

Regions Covered

Historical Central Eurasia

When Taught

Fall 2013


Department of Religious Studies