This introductory course explores Buddhist understandings of the human condition and visions of human flourishing. We cover the major histories, doctrines and practices of Buddhism, from the fifth century BCE to the present day, by engaging sacred texts from the Buddhist canon as well as poetry, literature, autobiography and film. We consider how Buddhism has changed and evolved as it spread from India, to Central and East Asia and, more recently, to the West. Key themes include the question of suffering, the nature of compassion, training the emotions, and the place of the ordinary and imperfect within Buddhist visions of enlightenment. Throughout the course, we consider the relevance of class material to our own views and experiences of the world, and to the question of how we should live our lives.
Location & Meeting Time
Olin Building-106+ M/W/F 11:45AM-12:50PM LEC