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Registration information | Academic calendar
Fall 2014 General Registration: 8/18/14-8/29/14
Spring 2015 Early Registration: 11/10/14-11/21/14

While the IBS offers a set of classes each semester, there are instances in which a class may be cancelled due to low enrollment. If there are enough students to warrant, and the instructor is willing, such a class may be converted from a regular class format to a directed studies format, with fewer meetings over the course of a semester.

Course Listings for Spring 2014

HRHS 1518 : Buddhist Traditions of East Asia 

Instructor(s): Pokorny Units: 3.0
Time: Monday 2:10PM – 5:00PMCourse Level: Introductory
Classroom: JSC 130

Introduces the Buddhist traditions transmitted to East Asia and the development of new traditions. Second half of the required year long introductory survey of the entire Buddhist tradition. Format: Seminar/lecture. Evaluation method: Participation/term paper.

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HR 1596 : Introduction to the Study of Theravada Buddhist Traditions 

Instructor(s): Quli Units: 3.0
Time: Tuesday 9:40AM - 12:30PMCourse Level: Introductory
Classroom: JSC 130

This course will survey the traditions of Buddhism commonly referred to as Theravada, with reference to their doctrine, development, and concrete localizations throughout South and Southeast Asia, as well as the contemporary West. We will also interrogate the shifting representations of these traditions that emerge in their interface with modernity. The course will incorporate both foundational primary texts and representative secondary scholarship in an attempt to broadly chart the living and historical dimensions of these traditions and the terms of their contemporary study. Auditors with faculty permission.

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HRCE 3002 : Buddhist Ethics 

Instructor(s): Seelawimala Units: 3.0
Time: Tuesday 2:10PM - 5:00PMCourse Level: Intermediate
Classroom: JSC 130

Ethical knowledge and ethical conduct of the members of a society is an essential part of a harmonious and healthy society. One third of the systematic blue print of Buddhist practice is dedicated to the discussion of ethics. In Buddhism ethics is not discussed as a part of a religious practice; it is simply a tool for one to live an error free emotionally healthy life, regardless of one’s religious beliefs. A person’s knowledge and ethical skills are directly related to his or her level of understanding of human behavior and the knowledge of inter relatedness of oneself and the external world. Brief presenta-tion on an assigned subject and a research paper of 12-15 pages are expected. Intended for MDiv, MA and MTS students.

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HRPH 3006 : Chinese Buddhist Philosophy: Meditation in Chinese Buddhism 

Instructor(s): Williams Units: 3.0
Time: Friday 9:40AM – 12:30PMCourse Level: Intermediate
Classroom: JSC 130

Developments, Doctrines, and Debates in Cultural Context. We will examine the meditative practices performed by Chinese Buddhists from Buddhism’s introduction into China (2nd c. CE) to the modern period. Some of these practices were introduced from abroad; some were developed in China. All were performed within Chinese cultural contexts and were viewed as efficacious (or not) within these contexts. Most of these practices were both informed by, and expressed, doctrinal perspectives and were embedded within varying ritual complexes. The diversity of these practices across regions, lineages, and practitioners also resulted in periodic, even perennial, debates among monastic and lay Buddhist practitioners. Suitable for all levels. Prerequisites: None, although some background in Buddhism desirable. Auditors with faculty permission.

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PSHR 3013 : Buddhist Chaplaincy 

Instructor(s): Fronsdal Units: 3.0
Time: TBDCourse Level: Intermediate
Classroom:

The practice of Buddhist chaplaincy demands the development of compassion and non-judgemental mind, and at the same time offers intense opportunities to develop these qualities. Chaplains serve in variety of settings in which people are under stress of one kind or another, including hospitals and hospices, prisons and jails, and military. Two-semester sequence of training offered by the Sati Center (Redwood City, CA) in affiliation with IBS. The student will not only learn about chaplaincy, but begin to develop the necessary skills and understandings for compassionate service to others who are in need, whether they are Buddhists or not. No prerequisites, but both semesters must be completed for credit to be awarded.


Separate application directly to the Sati Center program is required. Application process begins in June preceding the start of the program in September. Application and program fees are the responsibility of the student. Visit for further information: http://www.sati.org/chaplaincy-training/

HR 3017 : Readings in Mahayana Texts: Triple Sutra 

Instructor(s): Bridge , Kuwahara Units: 3.0
Time: Monday 9:40AM – 12:30PMCourse Level: Intermediate
Classroom: JSC 130

An introduction to selected Mahayana Buddhist texts in English translation. In this semester we will read the Three Pure Land Sutras: the Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra, the Smaller Sukhavativyuha Sutra, and the Contemplation Sutra on the
Buddha of Infinite Life. The course will introduce the overall structure of each text and examine major doctrinal issues which form the foundation of the Pure Land teaching. Course format: Lecture. Evaluation method: Participation/term paper.

HR 3040 : Zen Buddhism: Introduction to Zen Buddhist Meditation 

Instructor(s): Kinst Units: 3.0
Time: Thursday 9:40AM – 12:30PMCourse Level: Intermediate
Classroom: JSC 130

This is an introductory course intended to develop an understanding of Zen meditation practices and the Buddhist teachings that give them context and meaning. Study of the Soto Zen practice of “just sitting” (shikantaza), Soto and Rinzai koan practices, as well as meditation as it occurs in ritual and ordinary activities such as cooking will be included. Participation in meditation, including a visit to a local temple/center, as well as reading and discussion of traditional and contemporary literature are essential aspects of the class. Zen practice will also be considered as they relate to an interfaith context. Course Format: Seminar, lecture/discussion. Evaluation: Weekly 1-2 page papers on readings are discussed in class. 3 page paper on temple visit. Final 10 page paper or class presentation. Auditors with faculty permission. 16 max. enrollment.

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HRHS 3074 : History of Shin Buddhist Tradition: Modern 

Instructor(s): Matsumoto , Mitchell Units: 3.0
Time: Thursday 9:40AM – 12:30PMCourse Level: Intermediate
Classroom: JSC 130

This course will present an introduction to the Jodo Shinshu tradition in the modern period (1867-present), placing equal emphasis on Japanese history, Shin Buddhist diaspora, and current doctrinal trends, questions and controversies. Faculty permission required.

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HR 3101 : Esoteric Buddhism 

Instructor(s): Payne Units: 3.0
Time: Wednesday 9:40AM - 12:30PMCourse Level: Intermediate
Classroom: JSC 130

A survey of the history, teachings, doctrines, practices, and textual traditions of esoteric, or tantric, Buddhism. Particular focus may be given to Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, or Japanese forms of esoteric Buddhism. As appropriate attention will also be given to basic introduction to the traditions of Indian tantra that provided the religious context for the development of the Buddhist tantric tradition. Auditors with faculty permission

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HR 4569 : Works of Shinran IV: Tannisho 

Instructor(s): Matsumoto Units: 3.0
Time: Tuesday 2:10PM - 5:00PMCourse Level: Advanced
Classroom: JSC 130

Introduction to the teachings of Shinran through a study of a key summary of his thought. Course will utilized English translations to support the study of the original text. HRPH 1614 Introduction to Shin Buddhist Thought, and at least one year of college level Japanese language study, or instructor’s permission is prerequisite to enrollment. Course is required for ministerial aspirants. Fulfills Area Distribution Requirement for Area I. Faculty permission required.

HR 8146 : Buddhist Japanese II 

Instructor(s): Kurioka Units: 3.0
This is an Online CourseCourse Level: Introductory
Our online courses are co-sponsored by the Starr King School for the Ministry

This course is a bridge from introductory level to Intermediate level Japanese; continuing to cover basic Japanese grammar, and introducing to intermediate level Japanese grammar. Students learn relational particles in depth and idioms that will help the student understand Buddhist texts. Students will acquire more Buddhist terminology and kanji. During the course, students will read 1- 2 paragraphs length selections (the level of difficulty is adjusted to this course) from modern Japanese publications on Buddhism. Course format: Lecture/ online. Evaluation method: Participation/ Homework Assignments/ 2 Exams/ 1 Essay.

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HR 8317 : Readings in Mahayana Texts: Zen Classic Recorded Sayings and Their Use as Koans 

Instructor(s): Leighton Units: 3.0
This is an Online CourseCourse Level: Intermediate
Our online courses are co-sponsored by the Starr King School for the Ministry

This course will explore “Recorded Sayings” texts from the classic Chan/ Zen masters of the Tang dynasty, roughly 7th to 10th centuries. Readings will feature sermons and dialogues from Mazu, Zhaozhou [Joshu], Dongshan, and Linji [Rinzai], the brilliant masters whose encounters comprise the core of the later Zen koan anthologies. These lively teaching stories are used throughout the Zen tradition to refine experience of awakening and colloquially express complex classic Buddhist teachings. The course will show how these original dialogues from the Recorded Sayings became the roots of the celebrated koan literature through their use in one of its primary collections, the Book of Serenity. We will explore the format and usage of this genre, and its practical application as spiritual literature. Grades based on participation in online discussion, a midterm essay exam, and a final research paper. Prerequisite: some introductory course in Buddhism, including the Mahayana. PIN code required; 15 max. enrollment; Auditors with faculty permission.

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HRPS 8320 : Psychological Aspects of Buddhism I: Foundations in Buddhist Psychological Thought  

Instructor(s): Bermant Units: 3.0
This is an Online CourseCourse Level: Intermediate
Our online courses are co-sponsored by the Starr King School for the Ministry

This course strives for a constructive balance between traditional Buddhist psychologies as they evolved over the centuries, and Psychology in its current empiricist, physicalist form in the U.S. Topics of particular importance in the Buddhist traditions are the unique association of psychology and cosmology, the problem of “what endures” and how it has been resolved in different ways, the connection between consciousness and salvation, the connection between informal and formal teachings (related to the distinction between oral and written traditions), barriers to awareness and methods to dissolve them, and the nature of causality. Each of these topics finds its parallels, resonances, or denials in modern American psychology. The developments of Buddhist psychology found in Yogacara, Tathagatagarbha, Madhyamaka, and subsequent traditions are considered. As an online course, we proceed with regular online discussions based on the readings.

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HRPH 8455 : Topics in Buddhist Thought: Japanese Buddhism Through Personal Perspectives 

Instructor(s): Grumbach Units: 3.0
This is an Online CourseCourse Level: Advanced
Our online courses are co-sponsored by the Starr King School for the Ministry

This course introduces Buddhism in Japan not by looking at the great sweeps of history but by focusing on the personal writings (in translation) of a limited number of figures in various time periods. Through these personal perspectives, the major aspects of Buddhism will be explored, from the advent of Buddhism to Japan, through the great changes in doctrine and practice of the medieval period, and the profound transformation of Japanese Buddhism in the Meiji period. Figures include, among others, the great founders Kukai and Saicho, the medieval monk Myoe, the courtesan Lady Nijo, the chronicler Muju Ichien, the nineteenth-century female founder of a new religion Nakayama Miki, and the Meiji-era reformer Kiyozawa Manshi. Online lecture (voice-to-voice) and/or Moodle discussion. Term paper. Intended audience: MA/MTS. Auditors with faculty permission.

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