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Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies
Course List

Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies - Course List

Course List

Students have to take 3 required courses plus 5 elective courses for the MA degree. The required courses include Graduation Paper, Theory and Method in Buddhist Studies and plus a course on The Thoughts and History of Humanistic Buddhism or Studies on Chinese Buddhism. 5 Elective courses could be chosen from 4 different areas.

 

Required Courses必修科目 : 3 courses

BUDS5012  Graduation Paper 畢業論文; 

BUDS5013  Theory and Method in Buddhist Studies 佛學研究方法; 

BUDS5005  The Thoughts and History of Humanistic Buddhism 人間佛教思想與歷史   or

RELS5118  Studies on Chinese Buddhism 中國佛教研究

 

Elective Courses選修科目 : 5 courses

Area 1: Chinese Buddhism 中國佛教

BUDS5001  Pure Land Buddhism 淨土思想

BUDS5002  Chan Buddhism 禪宗思想

BUDS5003  Tiantai Buddhism 天台宗思想

BUDS5004  Special Topics in Chinese Buddhist Studies 中國佛教專題

PHIL5531    Topics in Buddhist Philosophy 佛教哲學專題

RELS5005   Theories of Religious Studies 宗教研究理論

RELS5316    Studies of Humanistic Buddhism 人間佛教研究

 

Area 2: Buddhism and Chinese Culture佛教與中國文化

BUDS5006  Dunhuang Buddhist Iconography 敦煌佛教圖像學 

BUDS5007  Chinese Buddhist Art 中國佛教藝術

CHES6001   A Critical Cultural History of China: Early China 中國文化史論析:早期

CHES6002   A Critical Cultural History of China: Modern China 中國文化史論析:現代

RELS5314    Buddhism and Culture 佛教與文化

 

Area 3: Buddhism and Society佛教與社會

BUDS5008  Buddhism and Contemporary Society 佛教與當代社會

BUDS5009  Special Topics in Buddhism and Society 佛教與社會專題

 

Area 4: Language Courses語言課程

BUDS5010  Basic Pāli 巴利文入門

BUDS5011  Basic Sanskrit 梵文入門

 

(Pending for approval)

 

Courses Details

 

Required Courses 必修科目 : 3 courses

BUDS5012  Graduation Paper 畢業論文

This capstone course provides integrative learning experiences that build on knowledge from student’s previous courses. It will be taken by students in their final year who will carry out independent research on a topic approved by the program and supervised by a teacher. Through writing a final paper, this course enables students to synthesize and integrate skills and knowledge acquired throughout the curriculum of the MA in Buddhist Studies.

 

BUDS5013     Theory and Method in Buddhist Studies 佛學研究方法

This course introduces students to the history and the main disciplinary approaches and methods in the academic study of Buddhism. It integrates the exploration of different approaches, theories, methods, concepts and issues in the study of Buddhism with the acquisition of graduate skills. These skills include, for example, critical thinking and writing, effective use of library, electronic and other information sources in the study of Buddhism. Students will get acquainted with key concepts in the study of Buddhism. Through carrying out small research assignments and literature research, students will design their own research questions and become familiar with the research cycle.

 

BUDS5005 The thoughts and History of Humanistic Buddhism 人間佛教思想與歷

Humanistic Buddhism has become one of the mainstreams of Buddhist tradition in modern world. This course is to study the development of Humanistic Buddhism, including its history, thoughts and practices. It is divided into three closely related parts. We will first investigate the basic doctrines of traditional Buddhism in relation to the arising of humanistic Buddhism. We then examine the history of humanistic Buddhism in he early Republic era (1912-1949). The social, political, religious, as well as economic background in which Humanistic Buddhism arose will be discussed with an emphasis on the interaction between Buddhist institutions and society. The teaching and practice of some pioneers of Humanistic Buddhism, such as Ven. Taixu will be studies. Finally, we will explore the contemporary developments of humanistic Buddhism in general, and Foguan Shan Buddhism in particular.

 

RELS5118   Studies on Chinese Buddhism 中國佛教研究

This course aims at a historical study of the development of Buddhism in China. Students will be first introduced to the process of translation, interpretation and commentary of Indian Buddhist scriptures in China. It will be followed by a study on the sinicization of Indian Buddhism by studying major traditions in Chinese Buddhism such as Chan, Pure Land, Huayen and Tiantai Buddhism. We seek to understand the Chinese Buddhist tradition by placing it in the context of Chinese culture and traditions.

 

 

Elective Courses選修科目 : 5 courses

Area 1: Chinese Buddhism 中國佛教

BUDS5001  Pure Land Buddhism 淨土思想

The course explores the history, doctrines, thoughts, and literature of Pure Land Buddhism in China. This course is to study the eminent patriarchs, such as Tanluan, Daochuo, Shandao, and explores the historical development of the Pure Land tradition in medieval China with an analysis of major figures and their interactions with Chinese cultural tradition. This course will also study briefly the commentaries of The Three Pure Land Sutras. Readings will include both the primary and secondary sources.

 

BUDS5002  Chan Buddhism 禪宗思想

The course explores the history, doctrines, thoughts, and literature of Chan Buddhism in China. It includes a study of the historical development of the Chan tradition in medieval China with an analysis of major figures such as Huineng, his Platform Sūtra and its interactions with Chinese cultural tradition. This course also helps students familiarize themselves with how Chan is studied by leading scholars in the field of Buddhist studies. The course will explore how Chan teachings and practices can contribute to various cultural activities and the seeking of meaning of life in modern society.

 

BUDS5003  Tiantai Buddhism 天台宗思想

The course explores the history, doctrines, thoughts, and literature of Tiantai Buddhism in China. It includes a study of the historical development of the Tiantai tradition in medieval China with an analysis of major figures and their interactions with Chinese cultural tradition. Readings will include both primary and secondary sources.

 

BUDS5004  Special Topics in Chinese Buddhist Studies 中國佛教專題

Special topics courses are developed to cover emerging issues facing Buddhism today or specialized content in Buddhist Studies not represented in the main curriculum. It addresses a current or timely topic, that are in a pilot phase before being offered on an ongoing basis or that are known to be one time offerings. Topics covered can vary from term to term. Students should consult the Graduate division on the content of the course on offer.


PHIL5531  Topics in Buddhist Philosophy 佛教哲學專題

What is reality? How do we know? How shall we exist? This course intends to explore the rich sources of Buddhist philosophical traditions. Topics include emptiness and negation, theories of mind, language and perception. Attention will be given to their relevance to the contemporary discussions in Western philosophy. Readings include basic works of Abhidharma, Madhyamaka, Yogācāra and Pramanavada.

 

RELS5005   Theories of Religious Studies 宗教研究理論

In sociology, religious research has been one of the important elements for understanding modern society. Based on the knowledge and research method of sociology, the course will study the interaction of religion and society. In addition, the course will study the development and changes of religion in a globalized society and its role in this transition. The course aims at enabling students to understand the social organization of religion and its history, development and thoughts. We will focus on analyzing some classical and contemporary issues as case studies.

 

RELS5316  Studies of Humanistic Buddhism 人間佛教研究

Humanistic Buddhism has become one of the mainstreams of Buddhist tradition in modern world. This course is to study the development of Humanistic Buddhism, including its history, thoughts, and practices. It is divided into three closely related parts. We will first investigate the basic doctrines of traditional Buddhism in relation to the arising of humanistic Buddhism. We then examine the history of humanistic Buddhism in the early Republic era (1912-1949). The social, political, religious, as well as economic background in which Humanistic Buddhism arose will be discussed with an emphasis on the interaction between Buddhist institutions and society. The teaching and practice of some pioneers of Humanistic Buddhism, such as Ven. Taixu will be studied. Finally, we will explore the contemporary developments of humanistic Buddhism in general, and Foguan Shan Buddhism in particular.

 

 

Area 2: Buddhism and Chinese Culture 佛教與中國文化

BUDS5006  Dunhuang Buddhist Iconography 敦煌佛教圖像學

The murals and statues in Dunhuang Grottoes are well preserved through different dynasties, and have aesthetic style sourced from different cultures. Dunhuang is very rich in many aspects, namely: art and culture, history and archaeology. However, the most precious out of so many valuable cultural relics is the Buddhist iconography and with the Buddhist teaching and philosophy within. This course is specially designed to offer an inspiring and in-depth introduction of Buddhist teaching and philosophy through Dunhuang Buddhist iconography. The historical and cultural background, the related aesthetic and archaeology aspects will also be introduced. Its coverage includes areas such as the essence of the teaching in Buddhism: Dependent Origination, Cause & Effect, the Noble Eightfold Path (Middle Path), the idea of ‘non-self’, karma theory, nirvāṇa etc.; the Concept of Pure Land, the cult of Guanyin and Maitreya in China, and also the history of the spread and inheritance of Buddhist iconography from 4th to 14th centuries in China. The course is intended for individuals who are interested in the Buddhist studies and want to study Buddhism and its practice as a means for spiritual development in a comprehensive way. It is also for participants who interested to study Buddhist teachings through Dunhuang Buddhist iconography and adding a new dimension to their spirituality and apply the Buddhist teaching into their daily lives, move along from suffering towards sustainable happiness.

 

BUDS5007  Chinese Buddhist Art 中國佛教藝術

This course explores the rich tradition of Buddhist art in China from the historical as well as thematic perspectives. It starts with a survey of Buddhism art in India and Southeast Asia followed by discussions of Buddhist art on the Silk Road to China. The major Buddhist caves and iconographical figures in China will be examined with reference to Buddhist texts. Special attention will be paid to the interaction between Buddhist doctrine and art, literary expressions and images.

 

CHES6001 Critical Cultural History of China: Early China 中國文化史論析:早期

This course will propose a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of Chinese cultural history conceived of as a succession of modes of rationality (philosophical, bureaucratic, and economic processes of rationalization). The focus will be on the moments of paradigm shift from one mode of rationality to another. For each of these moments, cultural facts and artifacts—thought, literature, ritual—will be examined in relationship to changing social, political, and economic systems. This semester will cover the periods of the Warring States (481-221 BCE) and the Six Dynasties (220-589 CE). The first laid the social and cultural foundations for the emergence of the imperial mode of rationality; the second saw the Buddhist "conquest" of China and the emergence of a rationality defined by the opposition of the Three Teachings to shamanism, that is, of a clear contrast between elite and popular culture.

 

CHES6002  Critical Cultural History of China: Modern China 中國文化史論析:現代

This course will focus on the emergence of two modern Chinas, that of the gentry and that of the people: 1) the re-emergence of Confucianism as "this culture of ours", eventually leading to the creation of lineage China in the 16th century; 2) the emergence of "popular culture", which includes a popular, increasingly state-supported pantheon of local gods, local festivals built around these

gods, and popular literature (from the bianwen of the Tang to the xiaoshuo of the Ming). Particular attention will be paid to the parallel transformations of the economy and of the legal system in Ming-Qing China.

 

RELS5314  Buddhism and Culture 佛教與文化

This course provides an overview of the historical development of Buddhist culture in Asia, highlighting both its unity and diversity. Main featuring elements of Buddhism in the diversified Asian culture is highlighted, especially in India, China and Japan. Basic Buddhist philosophy will be discussed at the beginning of the course, with special reference to the development of the various Buddhist traditions, such as Theravāda, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna. Attention will be paid to the impact, evolution and integration of Buddhism into different cultures in Asia. The course will end with discussing the role of Buddhism in reshaping and reproducing the culture of modern society, highlighting its contribution to the formation of a harmonious society in Asia, with special attention to the case of China.

 

 

Area 3: Buddhism and Society 佛教與社會

BUDS5008  Buddhism and Contemporary Society 佛教與當代社會

In its long history of more than 2500 years, Buddhism has spread to most part of the world, and its doctrines and practices have also undergone tremendous changes. This course is designed to study Buddhism within framework of its developments in contemporary society. It explores a variety of topics, discussing Buddhist attitude to and connections with modern society with respect to ecology, psychology, feminism, etc. In each of these topics, we will examine how Buddhism has fitted itself and been reinvented to make it meaningful and useful in serving people nowadays. It is hoped that through comparative and critical analysis, students will be able to get familiar with Buddhist ideas and thoughts concerning the social issues in diverse contemporary contexts.

 

BUDS5009  Special Topics in Buddhism and Society 佛教與社會專題

Special topics courses are developed to cover emerging issues facing Buddhism today or specialized content on Buddhism and society not represented in the main curriculum. It addresses a current or timely topic, that are in a pilot phase before being offered on an ongoing basis or that are known to be one time offerings. Topics covered can vary from term to term. Students should consult the Graduate division on the content of the course on offer.

 

 

Area 4: Language Courses 語言課程

BUDS5010  Basic Pāli 巴利文入門

This is an introductory course designed for those with no previous knowledge of the language of Pāli. The purpose of this course is to equip students with a basic understanding of Pāli so that they could read the Pāli primary source with a dictionary. It also enables them to understand Buddhist Sūtras compiled in Pāli. Course contents include: Pāli phonetics, parts of speech, different nouns and their declension, different verbs and their conjugation, participles and their function, absolutives, sandhi, syntax and classification of sentences.

 

BUDS5011  Basic Sanskrit 梵文入門

This is an introductory course designed for those with no previous knowledge of the language of Sanskrit. The purpose of the course is to equip students with a basic understanding of Sanskrit so that they could read the Sanskrit primary source with a dictionary. It also enables them to understand Buddhist Sūtras compiled in Sanskrit. Course contents include: Sanskrit phonetics, parts of speech, different nouns and their declension, different verbs and their conjugation, participles and their function, absolutives, sandhi, syntax and classification of sentences.