South and Southeast Asian Studies C275: Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha: History and Modernity in Theravada Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka

Category: Graduate Seminars
Course #: 33598
Units: 4
Times and Locations:

M 9-12

Dwinelle 288

This graduate seminar introduces students to the study of Buddhism in Theravada Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka through a critical survey of recent scholarship in such fields as religious history, cultural history and literary history, focusing on the modern era. Once dismissed as Buddhism of the “Lesser Vehicle”, Theravada Buddhism is a dynamic field of belief and practice whose responses to modernity include moral reform, textual purification, anticolonial protest, passive disobedience, meditation movements and militant nationalism. Topics may include vernacular narratives, ordination lineages, textual culture, scriptural reform, anticolonial resistance, biography, knowledge production. Students will engage with interdisciplinary approaches through discussion and apply frameworks from our course texts to primary source analysis in written assignments.