Dec 11, 2018  
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

INST 2202 - The Responsible Self in Hinduism and Buddhism

Hours: 4
This course examines the intertwined issues of the nature of the self and the role of duty in human life from the standpoints of Hinduism and Buddhism. Attention will be directed first to Hinduism and its notions of the non-personal spiritual energy-essence that constitutes one’s core self and true identity, and of the importance of duty within the contexts of caste and karma. Attention will then shift to Buddhism’s radical rethinking of the human being as an essentially empty “not-self” that is, despite its name, something very positive. The Buddhist concept of human responsibility will be explored with special attention to the crucial notions of compassion, loving-kindness, and giving. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to think about their own views of self and responsibility in light of the Indian perspectives being explored, and to adopt any that may appear compatible with and complementary to their own.