Topics in Zen Buddhist Thought: The Lotus Sutra and Zen Views

This online course will feature textual study of selected chapters from the Lotus Sutra, a central scripture in Chinese Buddhism, and even more pivotal in Japan, and also commentaries and references from Zen teachers. Through colorful parables and shifting visionary viewpoints, the Lotus Sutra elaborates and expresses such key East Asian Buddhist themes as the subtle workings of skillful means; the Diversity of spiritual needs and approaches and their unity in the One Vehicle; the mystical pervasion of awakening beings in both space and time; and the centrality of faith to Buddhist awakening. In addition to examining the meaning of the sutra’s teachings and their relevance to modern spiritual concerns, we will also consider the sutra’s widespread influence on East Asian philosophy, art, and literature, and the role of the Lotus Sutra in Japanese Zen. We will especially study Dogen’s use of the Lotus Sutra, as well as its importance for figures such as Hakuin and Ryokan. Auditors with Faculty Permission

Prerequisites: Some introductory course in Buddhism

PIN REQUIRED, max enrollment, 15

Download Syllabus for HRPH-8488 Leighton


HRPH-8488 Topics in Zen Buddhist Thought