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Art and Design Building L008

TR 1:30-2:45pm
Fall 2017

Professor: Catherine Prueitt
Office: Robinson Hall B 446
Email: cprueitt@gmu.edu

RELI 315: Buddhism

Imperial conquest, ritual sex, high-stakes philosophical disputes, and divine beings who play
with universes as if they were marbles---these might not be the first things that come to mind
when you think about Buddhism. Yet, the brilliant world of pre-modern South Asian Buddhists
includes all of these, and much more. We'll move beyond the image of a solitary monk
meditating on a mountaintop to explore early Buddhist traditions in all of their mind-bending
complexity.

Required Text

1998. Gethin, Rupert. The Foundations of Buddhism. New York: Oxford University Press.

We will have many other readings that will be posted on Blackboard.

Course Structure and Grading

Weekly Online Discussion Board and Class Participation (40%)

By Wednesday at 11:59pm each week, you’ll post a short reflection on the discussion board on
Blackboard about some aspect of our readings. You’re required to directly quote one of our
readings to get full credit, and I encourage you to ask questions. These posts will give you an
opportunity to think through the material, and also let me focus in on areas that seem particularly
tricky or conducive to discussion. Please note that this is a significant portion of your grade.

Museum Visit and Short Context Paper (20%)

This semester, we have the opportunity to visit a new exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Sackler
Gallery called Encountering the Buddha (http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/future.asp). You’ll
write a 5 page paper applying at least one of the readings in our class to analyzing some aspect of
the exhibit. More details to come.

Final Research Paper (40%)

You’ll write a 10-15 page paper on a topic you chose in consultation with me. The paper must
include at least five outside scholarly sources.

all of Chapter 3. selections from the Nikāyas Thursday. If you do all of them. or Wednesdays 11am-2pm. 49. To book an appointment. “Hidden in the Cave: the Upaniṣadic Self” Tuesday. It can be short and you can ask for the extension on midnight the day the essay is due if you need to.setmore. August 29th: First day of class Unit I: The World of Early Buddhism Thursday. Just talk to me and try not to worry. follow this link: http://meetingswithprofprueitt. selections from the Nikāyas Tuesday. I will deduct 1% from your final grade on an essay for each day it is late. the other Monday/Wednesday times are always available by appointment. you’ll get extra credit by ending up with 48/40 points. I’ll most likely be there during the other times. Please talk to me about missing posts if there’s something going on. The Concealed Art of the Soul. I’ll also have drop-in hours on Wednesdays from 2pm-4pm. The category has extra points built into it so that you can miss two over the course of the semester and still end up with 40/40 points in the category. The Concealed Art of the Soul. Introduction and Chapter 1 Thursday. an account of how mutant dinosaurs devoured your computer. September 7th: The Buddha’s Method Ganeri.com/ Late Policy You will not get credit for late discussion board posts. You can schedule an appointment on Mondays between 10am-11:30am and 2:30am-4pm. What this means is that I’ll always be in my office Wednesdays between 2pm and 4pm. If you do not ask me for an extension. please send me a ridiculous excuse. Chapter 2 up to p. However. September 14th: No-self and Dependent Origination . August 31st: The Vedic Context Ganeri. September 5th: The Life of the Buddha Gethin. If you would like an extension. but may step out for various reasons. This is a hard and fast policy. It can be a story about how an alien in a blue telephone booth whisked you away to the far corners of the universe.Office Hours I have two types of office hours: by appointment and drop-in. September 12th: The Four Truths and the Pāli Cannon Gethin. “Dangerous Truths”. Schedule Tuesday. or anything else you fancy.

Mahāyāna Buddhism.youtube. Relics of the Buddha. Relics of the Buddha. Schopen (youtube video: https://www.” 1-44 . “Nirvana as concept.” 29-60. “Aśoka and the Buddha Relics”. selections from the Aśokāvadāna and a few edicts Tuesday. October 3rd: Presence Strong.Gethin. Nirvana. Gethin. Chapter 6. “Chapter 5: Past and Future Buddhas” and Appendix I and II.” Philosophy East and West 63: 2. selections from Songs of the Sons and Daughters of the Buddha Unit II: After the Buddha’s Death Tuesday. Divine Stories. 2013. Chapter 7 Thursday. October 10th: NO CLASS. Nirvana. “Cosmology and Meditation”. MacKenzie. Columbus Day recess Thursday. October 12th: Aśoka and the Spread of Early Buddhism Strong. Gethin. September 21st: The Early Buddhist Community Gethin. September 28th: Absence Collins. Charming Cadavers Unit III: New Revelations Tuesday. The Sayings of the Buddha. 126-184 Thursday. “Enacting Selves. Chapter 4. “The Origin of Things”.com/watch?v=3GeZGFvbDzo) Thursday. October 17th: Institutional Buddhism TBD. “Chapter 4: The Parinirvāṇa of the Buddha” Tuesday. selections from the jātakas Thursday. Enacting Worlds: On the Buddhist Theory of Karma. September 19th: Buddhist Cosmology and Meditation Gethin. “Chapter 8: Relics and Eschatology” and “Conclusions”. October 24th: New Movements Williams. October 19th: Renunciant Bodies Selections from Wilson. Relics of the Buddha.” 39-70 and 289- 324 Tuesday. 194–212 Tuesday. “The Story of Koṭikarṇa” and “The Story of Svāgata. “Introduction. September 26th: Previous lives of the Buddha Collins. Strong. October 5th: Early Buddhist Narratives Rotman.

“Chapter 2: Perfection of Wisdom Sutras” Thursday. “Vasubandhu’s Yogācāra. Mahāyāna Buddhism. November 30th: Tantric Transgressive Practices . Paving the Great Way.” 17-67 Final paper topic due to me Thursday. Gold. November 7th: The Bodhisattva Path Selections from Śāntideva. 247-265. and the Path Dunne. Mahāyāna Buddhism.” 128-174. Mahāyāna Buddhism. Selections from Vasubandhu. November 2nd: Madhyamaka Philosophy Williams. selection from Eckel Tuesday. Chapter 4. and Empire Tuesday. “Chapter 4: Yogācāra. D’Amato). The Twenty Verses (trans. Distinguishing the Middle from the Extremes (trans. “Chapter 3: Mādhyamika” (up to p. Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism. Kachru) Tuesday. Ganeri. A Few Good Men. “The Institutional Setting. October 31st: The Teachings of Vimalakīrti Selections from the Vimalakīrtinirdeśasūtra. “Nescience as Erroneous Cognition. selections from the Pratyutpanna Samādhi Sūtra (trans.” 84-102.” Buddhist Epistemology as Apologetics. “Realizing the Unreal: Dharmakīrti’s Theory of Yogic Perception”. and the Origins of Tantrism” and “Chapter 2: Narrating Tantric Buddhism. Williams) Thursday. Eltschinger. 81). Religion. “Chapter 1: Origins. November 21st: NO CLASS I’ll be at a conference Museum Context Paper due Thursday. Harrison) Tuesday. Bodhicāryāvatāra (trans. selections from Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā Tuesday.” 73-102. Vasubandhu. Logic. November 23rd: NO CLASS Thanksgiving break Unit IV: Practice. Concealed Art of the Soul. Williams.Thursday. Power. November 16th: Mind. November 9th: Yogācāra Williams. October 26th: New Revelations Nattier. November 28th: Historiography of Tantra Wedemeyer. “Words that Burn”. November 14th: Yogācāra sūtras Selections from Laṅkāvatārasūtra Thursday.

Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism. December 19th . “Chapter 4: The Semiology of Transgression” and “Chapter 5: The Practice of Indian Tantric Buddhism.Wedemeyer.” 105-169 Tuesday. December 7th: Tantra and Empire Selections from Dalton. Indian Esoteric Buddhism Thursday. The Taming of the Demons Concluding section: the many worlds of South Asian Buddhism December 9th: Last day of class Final papers due to me via Blackboard on Tuesday. December 5th: Tantra and Kingship Selections from Davidson.