Introduction to Early Buddhism

Fudan University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to Early Buddhism

  • Host University

    Fudan University

  • Location

    Shanghai, China

  • Area of Study

    Asian Studies, Religion

  • Language Level

    Hours & Credits

  • Overview

    This course is an introduction to Buddhist doctrine with a focus on its Indian origins. The major content of the course is Early Buddhist doctrine, while modern examples from the Theravada (or Pāli) Buddhism, the self-claimed direct inheritor of Early Buddhism, at South-East Asian, will also be covered at the last section of the course. Buddhism in this course is studied mainly as a religious-intellectual tradition. Thus, the primary object of our study is the Early Buddhist Thought at India. Students will learn the basics of Early Buddhist philosophy and religious doctrine, and will also come across with topics on religious practice such as meditation. The course will cover various philosophical issues of Early Buddhist. For example, the doctrines of non-substance (an- atman) and dependant-arising; Topics such as the patterns of religious practice\ cultivation, images of Enlightened Being (Buddha), types of ideal religious personality;, Enlightenment..etc will be discussed. Furthermore, Buddhism vs Brahmanism contrast, early Buddhism’s intellectual contributions to Indian Philosophy will be discussed as well. Other then the traditional doctrine, the course will also discuss Buddhist monastic community (sangha)’s function and role in the traditional Buddhist societies. Other than the required textbooks, supplementary reading materials will be delivered through email. Lecture is the main pattern of teaching, while class discussion is also essential.

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