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Explore Buddhism, yoga and spirituality in an academic frame

Buddhism, Yoga and Spirituality

Spirituality in an academic frame

Are you concerned to integrate spiritual practices into therapy, business and leadership. Or do you, or students who feel that skilfully framing your their chosen disciplines and fields of engagement in various different historical, cultural, and in particular religious or spiritual world views and self-understandings are important, if not essential to the growth of our human potential and wholeness as individuals, professionals and society at large? Then you, may benefit from adding this minor to your curriculum.

Overview courses

  • Buddhism (level 200)

    This first course in the minor serves as a general introduction to Buddhism.

  • Buddhism, Mindfulness and Psychology (level 300)

    Since the late nineteenth century, various forms of Buddhism emerged from modernising Asia and, with apparent ease, penetrated new cognitive, spiritual and cultural domains—many far removed from their origins, geographically as well as epistemically. In the process, Buddhism became abbreviated to ‘meditation’ and later even to mindfulness, and a curious marriage of convenience emerged between Buddhism and psychology. How did this come to pass and what does the most recent global rise of interest tell us about Buddhism, and what does it reveal about those who are interested?

    In this course we shall also explore that fascinating marriage of convenience between Buddhism and psychology by tracing the reception history and mainstreaming of mindfulness ‘meditation’. Literary, ritual, social, but also perceived spiritual and philosophical aspects of Buddhist traditions will come into view, in an exercise in Buddhist hermeneutics that is self-reflexive. The focus is on older Buddhist and Theravāda sources, which, by their perceived remoteness, challenge our own world views and self-understandings. It thus resumes the self-reflexive exercise of studying various religious traditions in so-called World Religions, but by engaging the case study of the reception history of mindfulness. Participants in this course will also be granted the opportunity to attend an Applied Buddhist Mindfulness training.

  • Living Chinese Buddhism (level 300)

    This course is an introduction to modern and contemporary Chinese Buddhism as a lived tradition. It examines the histories, key issues, and dynamics that characterize the Chinese Mahayana, as well as Buddhism practiced by ethnic Chinese more generally, from the 19th century to the present.

    The primary focus of the class is on the way ethnic Chinese Buddhists engage with modernizing societies in Asia and beyond, with special attention to the following themes: Buddhism and the state; Buddhist reform projects during the Republican Era in China; Buddhism and the Chinese diaspora; Buddhist strategies to negotiate tradition and modernity; Buddhism in the People's Republic of China (PRC); and Buddhism in Taiwan.

    In addition to scholarly literature, students will read emic perspectives/first-hand literature (in translation) on the issues discussed in the classroom. The class is discussion-based, supplemented by lectures.

  • Yoga, Business and Leadership (level 300)

    This course familiarizes you with the potential of yoga as a philosophy and practice. You will acquire knowledge about yoga, come to understand its main concepts, will analyse them, and apply them in the context of business (entrepreneurship) and leadership and reflections for your own practice of self-awareness. This course includes engagements with yoga exercises.

  • Spirituality Today (level 200)

    In this course, you will explore new contemporary forms of religiosity and spirituality. This exploration resumes the culture dynamics of the reception history of both Buddhist mindfulness and of yoga outside Asia by subjecting the receiving matrix to a closer scrutiny.