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RELS523 Key Debates in Buddhist Studies

The key debates and theorists in the study of Buddhism with an emphasis on recent work, including lived Buddhism, monasticism, Buddhism and politics, Buddhist law, and Buddhism outside of Asia.

Paper title Key Debates in Buddhist Studies
Paper code RELS523
Subject Religious Studies
EFTS 0.25
Points 30 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,162.75
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Limited to

Teaching staff

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Ben Schonthal

Paper Structure
This paper consists of 4 modules:
  • Lived Buddhism
  • Buddhism, Monasticism and Authority
  • Buddhism, Politics, and Law
  • Buddhism Outside Asia
  • Essay One (4,000-5,000 words) 40%
  • Essay Two (4,000-5,000 words) 40%
  • Seminar Discussion 20%
  • Living Buddhism - Julia Cassiniti
  • Seeing Through Zen - John McRae
  • Buddhism, Politics, and Political Thought - Matthew Walton
  • Mourning the Unborn Dead - Jeff Wilson (available online through the library)
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who take this course will be able to:

  • Demonstrate familiarity with important theories and theorists in the field of Buddhist Studies
  • Discuss key developments and changes to the way Buddhism has been studied over the past few decades
  • Identify key debates and disagreements in the academic study of Buddhism and articulate the rationale and evidence for opposing viewpoints
  • Critically analyse and assess contemporary approaches to the study of Buddhism, while situating one's own research and methodology in the context of those approaches
  • Design and execute a research project that draws critically upon recent scholarship in Buddhist Studies

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system