HRHS-8455 Topics In Buddhist Thought: Buddhism and Food
This class looks at the history of Buddhism in Asia through the lens of food. Although Buddhism is often thought of as espousing vegetarianism and eschewing alcohol, this view perhaps overly relies on textual sources and an orthodox approach to religion. By examining food practices—what monastics and laypeople actually do with food and drink—we will discover alternative representations of Buddhism that link the religion to agriculture, fertility, family, reproduction, defilement, and transgression. These aspects of life may be considered rather “non-Buddhist,” but in the various cultures of Asia it is through the mundane that one enters into the transcendent. Lecture and discussion will be held online in real time using a voice/video application (such as Skype). Please contact the instructor as soon as possible for details. Format: online voice lecture and discussion; term paper.
Prerequisites: Assumes some knowledge of Buddhism
Auditors with Faculty Permission