Sep 19, 2018  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

INST 2206 - Buddhist Ethics and Personal Responsibility

Hours: 4
As one of the world’s great religions, Buddhism has a rich and complex ethical structure.  This course will introduce students to the basic ideas that support this ethical structure, including karma, rebirth, compassion and emptiness.  During the first half of the course, we will read a variety of Buddhist scriptures and commentaries, seeking to understand these ideas as richly as possible.  After gaining a deep understanding of these ethical norms, we will then turn our attention to their practical ramifications, analyzing a variety of case studies where Buddhist ethical ideas directly influenced real world conduct.  These cases will be drawn from both Asian and western contexts and include questions related to environmental destruction, gender inequality and economic globalization.  Throughout the semester we will emphasize the connections between Buddhist ethical norms and action in the world.  Students will also, in line with the goals of the Reflection and Responsibility Thread, be asked to reflect on their own internalized ethical norms and how those are reflected in their actions.