Fall 2019

Buddhist Stories from Modern East Asia

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-360


Lei Ying (Section 01)


What does it entail, and feel like, to embrace the modern world from a Buddhist perspective? The course examines key issues that have shaped the development of modern Buddhism across East Asia, while fostering a critical assessment of some fundamental assumptions in the making of the modern age. Threading through the entire course is a provocative dialogue between, on the one hand, modern events and intellectual currents such as scientific rationalism, secularization, imperialism, nationalism, feminism, and environmentalism, and on the other hand, seminal Buddhist teachings that stand profoundly persuasive across time and space. We unpack this dialogue through stories, which are drawn from China, Japan, Taiwan, Tibet, Vietnam, and occasionally from Europe and the United States. The seminar highlights literature as a vehicle for spiritual reflection especially in a global and postsecular world. All readings are in English. No prior knowledge of Buddhism is assumed. Requirements include weekly reflection papers, an oral presentation, and a final paper. Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 15 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Professor Ying.

If Overenrolled: Priority to junior and senior ASLC and RELI majors

Cost: 35 ?


Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019