image of Lagunita Lake in the winter

Lagunita in early March, Stanford. Photo credit: Linda A. Cicero



11:30 AM - 12:50 PM
Is it okay to feel pleasure? Should humans choose beauty or renunciation? This is the main controversy of medieval Japan. This course introduces students to the famous literary works that created a world of taste, subtlety, and sensuality. We also read essays that warn against the risks of leading a life of gratification, both in this life and in the afterlife. And we discover together the ways in which these two positions can be not that far from each other. Does love always lead to heartbreak? Is the appreciation of nature compatible with the truths of Buddhism? Is it good to have a family? What kind of house should we build for ourselves? Can fictional stories make us better persons? Each week, during the first class meeting, we will focus on these issues in Japan. During the second class meeting, we will participate in a collaborative conversation with the other students and faculty in Humanities Core classes, about other regions and issues. This course is taught in English. This course is part of the Humanities Core, a collaborative set of global humanities seminars that brings all of its students and faculty into conversation. On Mondays you meet in your own course, and on Wednesdays all the HumCore seminars (in session that quarter) meet together:
Monday Thursday
1:15 PM - 2:35 PM
What does one need to know about Islam to do business effectively in an Arab country? How can understanding the Protestant ethic help Mexican managers deal with U.S. partners? How does Confucianism influence Chinese business ethics? What are the business advantages of knowing how different countries rate on the spectrum of individualist versus communitarian values? These are the kinds of issues discussed in this course, which seeks to help students who will be engaged in international business during their careers. It aims to examine the deeper levels of attitudes and beliefs, often unconscious, which lie beneath the way business is done in various countries. Information will be provided on major religious and philosophical traditions like Confucianism, Shinto, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Some cross-cultural frameworks will also be considered. Case studies and background readings are set in nations like China, Japan, India, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Mexico and the United States. The class will be discussion-based, drawing on students¿ own life experiences as well as the cases and readings. The hope is to provide a competitive advantage, both theoretically and practically, to students through understanding certain unspoken rules of the game in global business.
Monday Wednesday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM
Religious themes and topoi are ubiquitous in Japanese anime and manga. In this course, we will examine how religions are represented in these new media and study the role of religions in contemporary Japan. By doing this, students will also learn fundamental concepts of Buddhism and Shinto.
Tuesday Thursday
1:30 PM - 2:50 PM
An overview of major themes and historical developments in 5000 years of Chinese religion. In this course, we will try as much as possible to appreciate Chinese religion from the Chinese perspective, paying particular attention to original texts in translation, artifacts and videos, all in an attempt to discern the logic of Chinese religion and the role it has played in the course of Chinese history. To a greater extent perhaps than any other civilization, Chinese have left behind a continuous body of written documents and other artifacts relating to religion stretching over thousands of years, providing a wealth of material for studying the place of religion in history and society.

RELIGST 116: Buddhist Philosophy

Monday Wednesday
1:30 PM - 2:50 PM
Buddhism often figures in the popular imagination not as a religion, but as a philosophy, or a way of life. But why is such a distinction made? Does Buddhist thought and practice make sense as a philosophy? What do Buddhists actually mean when they say there is no self? Is this a philosophical claim? And what about the Buddhist arguments that everything is empty, projected by the mind, or the result of past karma? Is meditation on such theories philosophical practice? This course explores these and other questions by studying the perennial ideas that have made Buddhist traditions distinctive, the implications of these claims for living a meaningful life, and how these ideas and their associated practices have been received in contemporary secularized societies.
Tuesday Thursday
12:00 PM - 1:20 PM
Required of all majors and combined majors. The study of religion reflects upon itself. Representative modern and contemporary attempts to "theorize," and thereby understand, the phenomena of religion in anthropology, psychology, sociology, cultural studies, and philosophy. WIM.
9:30 AM - 10:20 AM
This 1-unit workshop will explore the intersection of religion and education across a variety of learning environments and demographics. It invites an ongoing conversation of the relationships between schools, congregations, religious bodies, learners, seekers, philanthropy, and public education. Advanced students and visiting scholars will have an opportunity to present their work for discussion. May be repeat for credit
Independent study in Buddhism. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

RELIGST 390: Teaching Internship

Required supervised internship for PhDs.