Monday, August 25, 2008

World Religions Study: Buddhism

Weeks 2-6, Hinduism

Weeks 7-11, Buddhism:

Smith, pages 90-159, 15 pages per week.

Novak, pages 49-109, 12 pages per week.

Eliade, chapter 2, 10 pages per week.

Read as desired from resources on Buddhism.

Read as desired from general resources.

Continue response journal, making note of your reading.


Access to Insight -Readings in Theravada Buddhism
An Introduction to Buddhism
Basics of Buddhism
BBC Religion & Ethics -Buddhism
BuddhaNet: Buddhist Education and Information
Buddhism at
Buddhism (
Friends of the Western Buddhist Order
Buddhist Studies -WWW Virtual Library
DharmaNet International -Gateways to Buddhism
Fundamental Buddhism Explained -Buddha's Teachings
Resources for the Study of Buddhism
Sacred Texts -Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism -Buddhist Basics

At the end of the 5-week Buddhism study either

1. turn in a project that demonstrates your understanding of Buddhism;


2. answer the following questions:

Write a short biography of the Buddha;

What are the central tenets of Buddhism?

Contrast Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism;

the next 4 questions are from here:

Smith proposes that the Buddha avoided the six aspects of religion which he found in Hinduism and to which he objected. Describe these six aspects. Did the religion of the Buddha avoid them? If so, how? If not, why not?

The Buddha's religion was his solution to the problem of suffering. Restate the Four Noble Truths in one sentence each and comment on each of them.

Choose two themes from Smith's chapter on Buddhism (for instance, anicca, tanha, or the Four Noble Truths). Consider your own personal experience in light of these: does the Buddha's analysis seem to provide a good way of looking at the world?

In section 13 of Novak, the Buddha decides to postpone his own entry into nirvana preferring instead to help others gain their own enlightenment. Is the Buddha's decision consistent with his view of life (The Four Noble Truths)? Can you find other themes in the Buddhist tradition which would justify or require his taking this action?

Weeks 12-16, Confucianism

Weeks 17-21, Taoism

Weeks 22-26, Islam

Weeks 27-32, Judaism

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