In this course we will survey various Theravāda traditions of Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. Through a sampling of ethnographic and historical studies, we will discuss ritual and liturgical practices, particularly in terms of the relationships between the monastic and lay communities; the history and effects of colonialism in Theravāda countries; issues of Buddhist nationalism; the recent lay meditation movement; the Thai Forest tradition; new religious movements; and Buddhist modernism.

Format: weekly readings with short lectures and seminar discussion; weekly reflection papers, take-home essay exam.
Possible field trip to local Theravāda temple

HRHS 4550 : Theravada Buddhism: Asian Traditions