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University of Arizona launches Buddhism Studies minor

VastmindVastmind VeteranMemphis, TN Veteran

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."




  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    If I were younger, I'd love to go there for it.

  • VastmindVastmind Veteran Memphis, TN Veteran

    @silver said:
    If I were younger, I'd love to go there for it.

    I know, right? .... I admit, I would eat it up....

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Have written to Dr Kasey about making the course available on the Internet, which they do with some courses.

    Write to her here. When needing to eat, prepare to cook . . .

  • VastmindVastmind Veteran Memphis, TN Veteran


    Hellz ya! I love a go-getter!! B)
    We'll see what happens.....

  • thenovicemonk41thenovicemonk41 Explorer Explorer
    edited April 2015
    Hope they get some monks to teach there instead of just lay members and scholars.
  • VastmindVastmind Veteran Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited April 2015

    'Just' ??

    In all honesty @thenovicemonk41, you've come across to me as having a superiority complex since joining the group. I could be wrong....I'm 'just' a lay member who will eventually be supporting you as monk, no? ...... Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Just sayin'.....

    You must not have come across any crooked monks yet. Monks teach/set wrong examples everyday. They ARE human, you know..... Keep livin''ll find out what you need to find out....

  • thenovicemonk41thenovicemonk41 Explorer Explorer
    @Vastmind Not my intentions at all! I have alot to learn, too! I still don't know what the different schools of Japanese Zens are and such. XP
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    teachers come in many valid forms. Not just the ordained. Even at Naropa, the classes are taught by mere scholars and professors. Still plenty of learning to be had. It would be unlikely for a public university to hire monks to teach a class.

    I will also send an email! Good idea, @lobster

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Also, since it came up here, Naropa offers non-credit classes in their online classes as long as they have room. It's a $250 fee (though it's up to the teacher if you will be graded for assignments). They have some really awesome offerings so it's worth looking at.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran Veteran
    edited April 2015

    There have been Buddhist studies majors and graduate programs around the US since the 1960's. UC Berkeley has such a program through the PhD level. The University of Washington, Seattle, had the first Tibetan Studies program ever in the US, where the Dalai Lama's brother and other renowned Tibetans taught alongside Western specialists, and the school also had several different Buddhist studies program choices through the graduate level, including a specialization in Inner Asian Buddhism (Mongolia, Tuva, Russia). Unfortunately, due to several rounds of budget cuts, some of that diversity was eliminated. It's still possible to get BA, MA and PhD degrees there through the Asian Languages and Literature department, though.

    I'd encourage students interested in a university program in Buddhism to do a search to see what choices are available around the US. At the graduate level, it's required to have a background in the relevant languages, just fyi. Sanskrit, Chinese or Japanese, Pali, etc. for research purposes. Several University of CA campuses, Stanford U, U of Chicago, Columbia and others have such programs. Harvard has a Buddhist Ministry program in their Divinity School, as well as regular academic degree programs in Buddhism.

    Buddhist studies majors, minors and graduate programs are more common than you might think. There are also online programs, and programs offered by non-university institutions like the Berkeley Theological Union, in Berkeley, CA.

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