RB201 - Buddhism in Modern Asia

The study is designed as a wide-ranging survey of the state of Buddhism in the countries of Asia today. It will begin with a historical overview of the spread of Buddhism in: a) South and South East Asia (Sub-continent of India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam), b) the Himalayan Region (Tibet, Bhutan, Sikim), c) Central Asia (Afghanistan, Soviet Central Asia, Chinese Turkestan, Sinkiang, Mongolia), d) East Asia (China, Korea, Japan). The distinguishing characteristics of the Northern and Southern Buddhist traditions and the regional variations in Buddhist culture will form an integral part of this study. Among Asia's contemporary schools for Buddhist thought, an introduction will be made to the following: Therevāda, Vajrayāna (Esoteric Buddhism of Tibet) and the Ching-T'u (Pure Land) and Ch'an (Zen) schools of Mahāyāna Buddhism in East Asia. The course will be concluded with a historical introduction to the Pāli, Tibetan and Chinese versions of the Tripiṭaka.