In this course, students will develop a critical understanding of Buddhist philosophical concepts and religious practices.  We will read primary sources such as sermons, monastic codes, miracle tales, ritual texts and sutras, as well as ethnographies and secondary scholarship that will introduce us to contemporary problems in the scholarly study of Buddhism.  

Attention will be given to diverse notions of the path and goal of Buddhism, the dynamics of lay-monastic relations, the interplay of practical and trans-worldly concerns, and Buddhism’s transformations in specific historical and cultural settings.