REL 101 World Religions of Asia - Class schedule

Read assigned texts by the class meeting date indicated. (CR: Course Reader; CR 1 = Course Reader Selection No. 1; RT: Required Text)

Week 1 - Introduction; Hindiusm

9/25 Mon. Introduction: Syllabus; Definitions of “Religion.”

9/27 Wed. The Geography of Asian Religions; Vedic Religion. Read: Hymns of the Rgveda, CR1

9/29 Fri. Vedic Religion and Brahmanism. Read: Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita (excerpt) CR2, 3 (Alternative versions of Gita Ch. 2-3 included FYI).

Week 2 - Indian Religion: Bhagavad Gita; Early Indian Buddhism

10/2 Mon. L. Patton, trans., Bhagavad Gita, RT. (focus pages: vii-xxiv, 16-48, 70-100, 145-162).

10/4 Wed. Bhagavad Gita (cont.), Dance of Krishna and Gopis. Read: J. Campbell, Oriental Mythology, CR 3.

10/6 Fri. Early Indian Buddhism I - Shakyamuni Buddha - Peter Harvey, Introduction to Buddhism, CR 4.

Week 3 – Early Indian Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism

10/9 Mon. Early Indian Buddhism II - Nikaya Buddhism - Key concepts and historical background

10/11 Wed. Indian Mahayana Buddhism: Nagarjuna and the Two-fold Truth. Read: Jay Garfield, The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way; “Key Ideas: Nagarjuna and the Thought of Emptiness,” CR 5, 6.

Bodhisattva ideal. Read: The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti, CR 7.

10/13 Fri. Chinese Buddhism, "The Philosophical Schools."                 Short paper I due in class.

Read: "Key Ideas: Taitetsu Unno, 'Philosophical Schools’," T. Unno, “Chinese Philosophical Schools,” CR 6, 8.

Week 4 - Ancient China I: Confucianism

10/16 Mon. The World of the Sage Kings. Read: Fingarette, Confucius: The Secular as Sacred, vii-xi, 1-56 RT.

10/18 Wed. Confucius and the world of ritual action. Read: Fingarette, Confucius, 57-81 RT.

10/20 Fri.                     Short exam A in class. Also: Introduction to Daoism.

Week 5 - Ancient China II: Daoism (Taoism): Laozi (Lao Tzu) and Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu)

10/23 Mon. Laozi (Lao Tzu) - The Way: Read: Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching (Daodejing), vii-xviii, 5-42 (Book One) RT.

10/25 Wed. Laozi & Zhuangzi - Read: Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching, 45-88 (Book Two) RT. Zhuangzi, 1-7, 31-41, 44 CR 9.

10/27 Fri. Zhuangzi: Read: Zhuangzi, 61-62, 114-117, 128-129 CR 9             Short paper II due in class.

Week 6 - Medieval China: Early Chan/Zen; Medieval Korea: Unified Silla Period; Early Japan

10/30 Mon. Bodhidharma and Zen Buddhism. Read: Dumoulin, Zen Buddhism, CR 10. 

11/1 Wed. Korean Buddhists: Chajang, Uisang, and Wonhyo. Read: Thousand Peaks, pp. 28-38, CR 19.

11/3 Fri. The way of the kami - gods and goddesses. Read: Kawai, "Japanese Mythology," CR 11.

Week 7 - Medieval Japan I: Dogen and Zen Buddhism;

11/6 Mon. Dogen and Zen Buddhism.
Read: M. Unno, "Philosophical Terms in the Zen Buddhist Thought of Dogen," "Shobogenzo Genjokoan,"CR 12, 13. 

11/8 Wed. Dogen and Zen Buddhism (continued).

11/10 Fri. Shinran and Shin Buddhism. Read: Unno, "Key Terms - Pure Land Buddhism," CR 14.

Short paper III due in class.

Week 8 - Medieval Japan II: Shinran and Shin Buddhism; Modern Tibet: XIVth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

11/13 Mon. Shinran and Shin Buddhism.
Read: Taitetsu Unno, Tannisho, Foreword, 4-9, 14 (web site syllabus PDF link); M. Unno, "The Nembutsu of No-Meaning," 45-65 CR 15.

11/15 Wed. The XIVth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso
Read: Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness, CR 18, 33-59.

11/17 Fri.                     Short exam B in class.

Week 9 - Modern Vietnamese Buddhism

11/20 Mon. Thich Nhat Hanh. Read: Being Peace, 1-44 RT.

11/22 Wed. Thich Nhat Hanh. Read: Being Peace, 45-90 RT.

11/24 Fri (Thanksgiving Break)

Week 10 - Modern Manifestations: Japanese and Korean

11/27 Mon. Soto Zen Nuns. Read: Nishitani, "Ikebana," Paula Arai, "Soto Zen Nuns," CR 16, 17.

11/29 Wed. Seung Sahn. Read: Thousand Peaks, 191-314, CR 19.

12/1 Fri. Final Lecture.             Final papers due in class.