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Tibetan Buddhism: Culture, Ethics, Philosophy and Practice

Introduces students to history, practice, culture, and ethics of Tibetan Buddhism; contents include overview of Indian Buddhist practice and ethics; historical overview of Tibetan Buddhism with a focus on connections between the construction of Buddhist ideal types (lama and yogin) and political power; Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy; Buddhist transformation of ethical, social and cultural forms, including the shaman/king and gift exchange patterns, and analysis of the function of lineage within the construction of Tibetan polities and social order; readings include textbook surveys, biography

Buddhist Ethics

Survey of various Buddhist understandings of ethics, both classical and contemporary. How different Buddhist communities have responded to such ethical problems as the existence of evil, war, injustice, and suffering as well as contemporary Buddhist debates over abortion, ethnic fratricide, human rights, environmental problems, economic justice, and cloning. One course.

American Apocalypse: Beat Generation Spirituality

Places Beat Generation spirituality in its contexts by study of sources and texts that influenced individual figures, specifically, the reading, world view, and practice of Kerouac, Snyder, Ginsberg, Burroughs, and di Prima; identifies the Asian and Native American texts and translations available to Americans in the post-war era and outlines Western influences (Thoreau, Spengler, Skinner, Reich, Neitzsche), reading these in relation to key my themes of American identity and destiny in the post-War era. One course.

Poetry, Desire & Religion

Studies the use of love poetry genres to transform theological traditions in India, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity circa 600-1500 CE; studies ongoing exploration of intersections of the sacred, desire, and expressive language in post-Enlightenment poetry; explores poetry and, more generally, the arts as a performative mode by which a theological relation is posed and enacted in one’s life; introduces students to basic problems, readings, and ideas related to language, hermeneutics and desire; specific authors include: Mirabi, Kabir, Rumi, San Juan de la Cruz, Dickinson, Rilke, H.D., and C

Muslim Women Across the Ages

This course explores the diverse realities of Muslim women’s lives, from the origins of Islam to the present, through autobiographical and biographical accounts situated in their social, economic, political, and cultural contexts. The women we will encounter through textual and audio- visual materials represent a wide range of personal backgrounds, including scholars, mystics, merchants, philanthropists, poets, slavegirls, feminists, and Islamists. We will metaphorically travel across the globe and time to understand the multifarious facets of Muslim women’s lived experiences.

Muslim Women across the Ages

Explores diverse realities of Muslim women’s lives, from origins of Islam to present, through autobiographical and biographical accounts situated in their social, economic, political, and cultural contexts, representing multifarious facets of Muslim women’s lived experiences. Women encountered through textual and audiovisual materials represent a wide range, including scholars, mystics, merchants, philanthropists, poets, slavegirls, feminists, and Islamists. Topics course. One course.

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