Skip to content Skip to navigation

Current Courses

RELIGST217: The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Buddhism (RELIGST 317)

This seminar explores the influence of the Lotus Sutra, one of the most important Mahayana scriptures, in Japan. We will study how different Japanese Buddhist schools have interpreted this sutra and analyze a wide range of religious practices, art works, and literature associated with this text. All readings will be in English. Prerequisites: Solid foundation in either Buddhist studies or East Asian Studies. You must have taken at least one other course in Buddhist Studies. NOTE: Undergraduates must enroll for 5 units; graduate students can enroll for 3-5 units.

2019-2020 Autumn
RELIGST56: Exploring Chinese Religions

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 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.

2019-2020 Autumn
RELIGST8N: Gardens and Sacred Space in Japan

This seminar will explore gardens and sacred spaces in Japan. We will study the development of Japanese garden design from the earliest records to contemporary Japan. We will especially focus on the religious, aesthetic, and social dimensions of gardens and sacred spaces. This seminar features a field trip to a Japanese garden in the area, in order to study how Japanese garden design was adapted in North America.

2019-2020 Autumn
RELIGST232: Buddhist Meditation: Ancient and Modern (RELIGST 332)

An exploration of the theory and practice of Buddhist meditation from the time of the Buddha to the modern mindfulness boom, with attention to the wide range of techniques developed and their diverse interpretation.

2019-2020 Winter
RELIGST290: Majors' Seminar: Theories of Religion

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.

2019-2020 Winter
RELIGST319: Readings in Hindu Texts

Readings in Hindu texts in Sanskrit. Texts will be selected based on student interest. Prerequisite: Sanskrit.

2019-2020 Winter
RELIGST55: Exploring Zen Buddhism

This course is an introduction to Chan/Zen Buddhism. We will study the historical and doctrinal development of this tradition in China and Japan and examine various facets of Zen, such as the philosophy, practices, rituals, culture, and institution. For this aim, we will read and discuss classical Zen texts in translation and important secondary literature. This class will further feature a visit of a Zen teacher, who will give an introduction to sitting meditation.

2019-2020 Winter
RELIGST1: Religion Around the Globe

This course surveys major religious traditions of the world. Through examination of a variety of materials, including scriptures and other spiritual writings, religious objects and artifacts, and modern documentary and film, we explore Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Jainism as rich historical and living traditions.

2019-2020 Spring
RELIGST166: The Divine Feminine in India (FEMGEN 166)

What happens when God is a woman? Is the Goddess a feminist? The Goddess, in her numerous incarnations, is foundational to much of Indian religiosity, whether Hindu, Buddhist, or even Jain┬┐and in turn, without her story, much of the theology and practice of these religions remains incomprehensible. This course examines the principal expressions of the theology and ritual worship of the Goddess in Indian history, from the Vedas to the Hindu Epics, to Indian philosophy, tantric ritual practice and modern global and new age movements in order to understand how the gendering of divinity affects theological speculation, religious experience, and embodied religious identity.

2019-2020 Spring
RELIGST251: Readings in Indian Buddhist Texts (RELIGST 351)

Introduction to Buddhist literature through reading original texts in Sanskrit. Prerequisite: Sanskrit. Undergraduates register for 251 for 5 units. Graduate students register for 351 for 3-5 units.

2019-2020 Spring
RELIGST351: Readings in Indian Buddhist Texts (RELIGST 251)

Introduction to Buddhist literature through reading original texts in Sanskrit. Prerequisite: Sanskrit. Undergraduates register for 251 for 5 units. Graduate students register for 351 for 3-5 units.

2019-2020 Spring
RELIGST50: Exploring Buddhism

A comprehensive historical survey of the Buddhist tradition, from its beginnings to the 21st century, covering principal teachings and practices, institutional and social forms, and artistic and iconographical expressions. (Formerly RELIGST 14.)

2019-2020 Spring