Spring 2009

Socially Engaged Buddhism

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-57  |  Religion, as RELI-28


Sue Darlington (Section 01)


(Also Asian 57.) How is Buddhism engaged in the world? This course explores how Buddhism is being used in Asia and the United States to address contemporary issues such as human rights, environmentalism, economic development and gender relations. The historical development and application of engaged Buddhism will be examined in light of traditional Buddhist concepts of morality, interdependence and liberation in comparison with Western ideas of freedom, human rights and democracy. Cases of Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Tibet, India and the U.S. will be studied within their broader cultural, historical and political contexts as we look at progressive and conservative responses to social change. How do globalization and cultural traditions influence the process of religious and cultural change as people deal with social problems? Prior knowledge or experience with Buddhism or Asian studies is recommended. Spring semester. Professor Darlington of Hampshire College.