Course Info: HACU-0116

CourseHACU-0116 Buddhism in America
Long TitleBuddhism in America
Note(s) Satisfies Distribution
Textbook information
Meeting InfoEmily Dickinson Hall 4 on T,TH from 10:30-11:50
FacultyAndrew Olendzki
Distribution(s) Culture, Humanities, and Languages
Cumulative Skill(s)Independent Work
Multiple Cultural Perspectives
Writing and Research
Additional InfoStudents are expected to spend 6-8 hours weekly on work and preparation outside of class time.

The American understanding of Buddhist ideas and acceptance of Buddhist practices, which has been growing slowly for some time, has quickened significantly in the last few decades. In this course, we examine this process, from its early phases in the 19th century, through the impact of population displacement and increasing spiritual diversity in the 20th century, to the virtual explosion in the current century of creative engagement between Buddhist ideas and a wide range of fields. The first part of the course is historical, reviewing the diverse ways Buddhism entered American culture. The rest of the course is thematic, covering such topics as the Buddhist influence on: secularism; physical and mental health; feminist struggles; peacemaking and conflict resolution, social and environmental change; incarcerated populations; and the emerging fields of cognitive science, contemplative studies, and the philosophy of mind.