Most people have heard of Zen Buddhism, but what is it? Who gets to define it? This class looks at Zen in China, Korea, Germany, Japan, Vietnam, and the United States through a range of methods from reading classic texts to studying ethnographic accounts. By considering Zen in different times and places, we explore how a religion is shaped by its political and cultural environs. We examine tensions between romanticized ideals and practices on the ground and grapple with how to study complicated and sometimes troubling traditions. Topics include myths, meditation, mindfulness, monastic life, gender, war, and death.
REL 280 / EAS 281
Bryan D. Lowe