Theo 249 / Theo 349
BUDDHISM (3 units)
Noel Sheth, SJ

M T W 2:00 – 5:00 pm
(Intensive Asian Mandate Course,
Nov. 23 – Dec 14)

Buddhism has emerges as a major world force, particularly in Asia. It enjoys a majority in some Asian countries, continues to contribute to the cultures of Asia and impacts the world at large. It exercises a strong appeal to people in different parts of the world due to its varied solutions to the problems and tensions of modern life, its contributions to forgiveness, peace and harmony among peoples and to ecological balance, its liberative thrust towards equality and justice, and its extraordinary capacity to inculturate itself in different cultures. At the same time, Buddhism has become violent in some countries and is a faith in flames.

The course outlines the life experience of Buddha and the basic doctrines of Buddhism. It also explores how Buddhism, in its efforts to inculturate itself into different cultures of Asia, evolved into a wide variety of forms, with varied beliefs and practices. We shall consider points of convergence and divergence between Buddhism and Christianity and suggest how they can enrich each other. We shall also spell out the increasing relevance of Buddhism in Asia, and at the same time point out the directions it needs to take to create a stable society, as it struggles to keep pace with modern developments and responds to the signs of the times.


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