Tibetan Buddhism

This course explores Buddhism's cultural and spiritual traditions of Buddhism that developed in Tibet and continues to flourish in various parts of the Himalayas, China, Mongolia, and the West. Students will examine a variety of works from the rich Tibetan literary and philosophical traditions in their historical contexts: from classic biographies of yogic masters on mountain tops to those of familiar practitioners living life in the monastery; from "songs of realization," intended to provide a glimpse of truth "as it is," to basic instructions on how to meditate, how to train the mind in compassion and wisdom, and how to navigate the passage between life and death. Visual art, ritual objects/environments, and the film will provide additional sources for analysis. Topics will include Tantric Buddhist theory and practice, issues of gender and sexuality in Tibetan Buddhism, the role of the teacher/mentor, and the relationship between religious institutions and the state.






Spring 2022

William McGrath
TR: 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM 25W4 C-20