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In the Buddhist studies minor, students will have the option of taking courses covering topics such as Asian Religions, Religion in Japan and in India, Zen Buddhism, Buddhist meditation traditions, and the history of East Asian Buddhism. Students also can take courses on ancient, medieval and modern Japanese religions.
Wu, who is teaching a new course on Zen Buddhism this semester, said the need for the program is even more present given the misconceptions that exist around the history and practice of Buddhism.
"There is this gray area where people talk about Buddhism," Wu said, noting that Buddhism is often removed from its historic and cultural context. Wu also said that some still confuse regional traditions and concepts associated with Buddhism.
"There is considerable interest in Buddhist studies, or the related and new interdisciplinary research happening with mindfulness, psychology and consciousness studies," Wu said. "It is absolutely a good time to introduce the minor."