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RELS336 Buddhism, State and Society

Buddhist thinking about ideal political order including relationships between religion and state, monks and kings, morality and power, ethics and war, religious difference and the 'nation'. Buddhist political philosophy.

Often imagined as a pacific, other-worldly religion, Buddhism has for a long time been involved in social and political struggles throughout Asia. In Sri Lanka monastic groups have been involved in nationalist politics. In Thailand, Buddhist monks have involved themselves with environmental activism. In Cambodia and Korea, Buddhist temples served as key sites for anticolonial mobilisation. This paper examines the links between Buddhism and politics in the colonial and contemporary periods.

Paper title Buddhism, State and Society
Paper code RELS336
Subject Religious Studies
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2019
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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Prerequisite
One 200-level RELS or RELX paper
Restriction
RELS 436, RELX 336, RELX 436
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
Contact
keziah.wallis@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Lecturer: Keziah Wallis
Paper Structure
Topics covered include:
  • The Buddha's social and political background
  • Buddhist kingship and alternative forms of governance
  • Nationalism, Buddhism and the state
  • Buddhism, Marxism and the Cold War
  • Buddhist perspectives on war and peace
  • Buddhist protest movements
  • Buddhist economics and environmentalism
  • Political implications of Buddhist meditational practice
  • Buddhist political parties
Assessment:
  • Essay 1 15%
  • Essay 2 30%
  • Seminar discussions 15%
  • Final exam (2 hours) 40%
Teaching Arrangements
One 2-hour lecture per week, plus weekly seminars
Textbooks
A coursebook is being developed for this paper.
Course outline
View sample course outline for RELS336
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the paper, students should be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of
  • The Buddha's social and political background
  • Buddhist kingship and alternative forms of governance
  • Nationalism, Buddhism and the state
  • Buddhism, Marxism and the Cold War
  • Buddhist perspectives on war and peace
  • Buddhist protest movements
  • Buddhist economics and environmentalism
  • Political implications of Buddhist meditational practice

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Timetable

Not offered in 2019

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system
Blackboard