- The Creation
- The Script
- The Film
- The Distribution
RELIGION 1758 / HDS #3516
Center for the Study of World Religions
The course will focus on three major genres of Mahayana literature in translation: sutras or the word of the Buddha, biographies of Buddhist saints, and poetic presentations of the path to enlightenment. The course is designed to give students who have already had an entry-level course in Buddhism a chance to broaden their knowledge of the Mahayana sources and grapple with some of the more important interpretive issues in contemporary Buddhist scholarship.
Week 1 (September 20) Introduction and preliminary remarks about the development
of Mahayana literature
Week 2 (September 27) The Lotus Sutra: the Prototype of a Mahayana Scriptural Text
Reading: Hurvitz, trans., Scripture of the Lotus Blossom of the Fine Dharma
Week 3 (October 4) The Development of the Perfection of Wisdom Literature
Reading: Conze, trans., The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines.
Week 4 (October 11) A Variation on the Model of a Perfection of Wisdom Sutra
Reading: Thurman, trans., The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti
Weeks 5 and 6 (October 18 and 25) Other Important Scriptural Collections Reading:
during these two weeks the class will be divided into teams and asked to explore
a number of different, lesser-known canonical texts and report on their contents.
Week 7 (November 1) The biography of the Buddha
Reading: Conze, Buddhist Scriptures, Part 1.
Week 8 (November 8) The Indian Tantric saints
Reading: Mark Tatz, "The Life of Maitrigupta," and other readings to be assigned.
Week 9 (November 15) A Tibetan biography
Reading: Lhalungpa, trans., The Life of Milarepa.
Week 10 (November 29) Bhavaviveka's Verses on the Essence of the Middle Way
Reading: Eckel, The Empty Throne: A Philosopher's Vision of the Buddha.
Week 11 (December 6) Candrakirti's Presentation of the Middle Way
Reading: Huntington, The Emptiness of Emptiness.
Week 12 (December 13) Santideva's Presentation of the Bodhisattva Practice
Reading: Matics, Entering the Path to Enlightenment.