Fall 2007

Theravada Buddhism

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-69  |  Religion, as RELI-26


Maria R. Heim (Section 01)


(Also Asian 69.) This course introduces the history and civilization of Theravada Buddhism. The Theravada (the "Doctrine of the Elders") is the dominant form of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar (Burma); in recent decades it has also found a following in other regions in Asia and the west. We will trace the Theravada's origins as one of the earliest sectarian movements in India to its success and prestige as a religious civilization bridging South and Southeast Asia. We will also consider this tradition's encounter with modernity and its various adaptations and responses to challenges in the contemporary world. No previous background in Buddhism is required. First semester. Professor Heim.