The School of Buddhist Studies, Philosophy, and Comparative Religions emphasizes the study of Buddhist ideas and values and historically contextualizes those ideas in relation to other philosophical and religious traditions. Through an interdisciplinary curriculum we examine the wider social-historical-cultural contexts of the development of Buddhist traditions.
The School focuses on critical thinking and uses the theories and methodologies of the study of religion to explore the wider cultural and historical context of Buddhism and its related traditions. This includes explorations of Buddhism within different regions of Asia; the dynamics of the spread of Buddhist ideas, art, and literature; archaeology of key Buddhist sites; the study of primary texts, inscriptions and art forms; and the comparison and interactions between various religious and philosophical traditions of Asia.
Students are introduced to an interdisciplinary approach in which they read literary and philosophical texts, take part in archaeological training, and are introduced to a variety of methodological approaches that range from ethnological to philological.
The School also emphasizes the use of primary languages and requires students to study at least one Classical Buddhist language (Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan) or another source language. This enables students to read original Buddhist and other religious texts and develop the skills needed to do qualified Post Graduate research work. Students are expected to utilize these language skills in the production of their thesis work.
MA Programme: Students are required to complete 48 hours of course work (12 credits per semester) and submit a thesis towards the fulfillment of a Master’s degree. Is of these course credits are for thesis-specific courses taken with the student’s primary advisor. All students are required to take a survey course during the first semester of coursework as well as a methodology course. The MA thesis must be approved by an appropriate faculty committee.
The School gives special emphasis to the study of Buddhist ideas and values and their historical development in relation to other philosophical and religious traditions.
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