Southern Asia and Indian Ocean
For centuries Tibet and Tibetan Buddhists have held an allure and mystique in the minds of westerners and others that is akin to the magical kingdom of Shangri-La. This seminar will seek to explore the realities as well as the myths of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. After a brief review of Indian Mahayana Buddhism, we shall survey the geographical, cultural and religious background of Tibet prior to the advent of Buddhism there, surveying the origins of the Tibetan people, and the pre-Buddhist religion known as Bon. Thereafter, focusing on the introduction of Buddhism and its subsequent development there, we will attempt to explore Tibet's complex interface of religion, culture and politics. To illuminate our discussions of Buddhist teachings as they are interpreted and practiced within the Tibetan framework and in order to gain an appreciation of the distinctly Tibetan flavor of Buddhist tantric theory and practice, we shall draw both upon a number of sacred biographies of Tibetan sages as well as upon certain specific Tibetan Buddhist rituals. Finally, we will look at the contemporary situation of Tibetans today.
COURSE FORMAT: Seminar
Level: UGRD Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS RELI Grading Mode: Graded
Prerequisites: [RELI242 or EAST242] Links to Web Resources For This Course.
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
Copyright Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459