Frank F Conlon
History of religions, concentrating on religions that have developed in South Asia and East Asia. Primary attention to Hinduism and Buddhism; other important Asian religions are discussed in relation to them, with emphasis on basic conceptual and symbolic structures.
History of religions, concentrating on religions that have developed in South Asia and East Asia. Primary attention to Hinduism and Buddhism; religious traditions of China and Japan, with emphasis on basic conceptual and symbolic structures.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
An introductory survey of major religions of India, China and Japan, including significant ideas, images, practices and institutions. We will approach these traditions through reading some of their classic texts in translation, supplemented by lectures, discussion, secondary readings and films.Four hours each week (Monday through Thursday) will consist of lectures and films. Readings will include secondary sources and some primary texts in translation. The lectures will not only organize materials presented in the readings, but will also provide additional material that will be covered in the examinations. The weekly one hour discussion section scheduled on Thursdays and Fridays, will provide the opportunity to analyze readings further, clarify questions arising in readings or lectures or discuss other topics. Short written exercises may be included in some section meetings.
Since the examinations will be based on materials in both lectures and assigned readings, covering materials discussed in both lectures and discussion sections, it is vital that students read the assigned materials in advance of the course meetings. Participation in the discussion of the section meetings is strongly recommened for the course (and the students in the course) to succeed. For examinations, a review sheet will be distributed approximately a week in advance to assist in intelligent review.Since many of the students in this course will be studying these traditions for the first time, give some thought to how you might want to explain your own spiritual or religious orientation or tradition to someone from India, China or Japan who was as little informed about North America as you may be about Asia. And remember, comparative religion is NOT competitive religion.
Class assignments and grading
Readings will be required for every lecture. There will be two examinations, a midterm exam and a final examination. The format of both will include short answer essays and longer essay questions. Quiz or other types of written exercises may be offered in the discussion section meetings.