Course Catalog 2023-2024

Buddhist Studies

BUS 120 The Study of Buddhism (1 Credit)

This course introduces students to the academic study of Buddhism through readings, lectures by Smith faculty and guests and trips to local Buddhist centers. Students critically examine the history of Buddhist studies within the context of numerous disciplines, including anthropology, art, cultural studies, gender studies, government, literature, philosophy and religion, with a focus on regional, sectarian and historical differences. Materials to be considered include poetry, painting, philosophy, political tracts and more. This course meets during the first half of the semester only. S/U only. {H}


BUS 253 Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy and Hermeneutics (4 Credits)

This intensive course is taught at the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, India, as part of the Hampshire/Five College in India program. Students take daily classes, taught by eminent Tibetan scholars, in Buddhist philosophy, Indo-Tibetan hermeneutics and Tibetan history and culture, and they attend regular discussion sessions as well as incidental lectures on topics including Tibetan art history and iconography, Tibetan astrology and medicine and Tibetan politics. Students also visit important Buddhist historical sites and explore Varanasi, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Each student is paired with a Tibetan student "buddy" to get an inside view of Tibetan culture. No prerequisites. Enrollment limited to 15. Application and H/5CIP permission required. {H}{N}{S}

Interterm, Variable

BUS 254 Buddhist Culture and Thought of Japan (Global FLEX Program) (3 Credits)

This Global FLEX program will bring students to Kyoto University for a three week intensive studyfocused on Buddhist Studies, widely understood doctrine, history, art and architecture, performing arts(tea, Noh), martial arts, contemporary philosophy, Buddhist psychology, ritual and contemplativepractice, and visits to temples and other sites. Classes will be taught by a team of Kyoto Universityfaculty and colleagues along with the Smith faculty member who accompanies the group. We will alsooffer opportunities for students to stay longer in Kyoto, either enrolling in other Kyoto University programs and/or engaging in Summer Intern programs. Enrollment limited to 15. {A}{H}{L}


BUS 261/ REL 261 Buddhism, Race and Justice (4 Credits)

Offered as REL 261 and BUS 261. What can Buddhist texts and practices teach about analyzing and responding to contemporary forms of injustice, such as oppression based on race, caste, class, gender and sexuality? And how might responding to these forms of injustice lead to a reformulation of Buddhism? Drawing on classical and contemporary texts, this course addresses Buddhist contributions to the analysis of injustice and the practice of making social change. Working collaboratively, students explore the ethics of attention; the body, identity and identity politics; the place of anger in response to injustice; the phenomenology of marginalization and liberation; and the practice of violence and non-violence.  (E) {L}{S}

Fall, Spring, Variable

BUS 400 Special Studies in Buddhist Studies (1-4 Credits)

Admission by permission of the director of the Buddhist studies program. Normally, enrollment limited to Buddhist studies minors only.

Fall, Spring