Note: please refer to our covid response page for the latest updates about course delivery method, mask and vaccine requirements, and other information as we navigate the pandemic.
The GTU Registrar’s Office is responsible for listing all courses offered throughout the GTU consortium. IBS courses are publicly listed via the GTU student information system, Sonis. Please visit GTU Sonis and search for courses by semester and school to see IBS’s current listings. Students should be aware that the information on the GTU Website is the most updated and correct version of courses currently available.
* Note: While the IBS offers a set of classes each semester, there are instances in which a class may be cancelled due to low enrollment.
Fall 2023 Course Schedule
|Course||Name||Faculty||Time/Delivery Method||Course Description|
|FE-2401||INTRODUCTION TO FIELD EDUCATION||Chen||On Campus Only, Thursdays 11:00 - 12:30||This course integrates volunteering at a field site placement with in-class lecture topics and discussion. Evaluation includes class participation, reflection papers, and case study reports. Prerequisites: field site placement approved by the Field Education Director. Student is responsible for any application costs and on-boarding requirements related to field site. This course fulfills the field education requirement for IBS MDiv students. Pass/Fail only.|
|HR-1630||METHODS IN STUDY OF BUDDHISM||Arai||On Campus, Wednesdays 9:40 - 12:30||A survey of different approaches to the study of Buddhism, including textual, anthropological, sociological, historical, and bibliographic. Particular attention will be given to contemporary critical studies, appropriate historical and social contextualization of doctrinal claims, and relations between Buddhism and other religions in the modern world. May be upgraded for doctoral students. [Auditors with Faculty permission]|
|HR-2850||BUDDHISM IN THE WEST||Mitchell||On Campus with possible concurrent hybrid; Thursdays 2:10 - 5:00||This course surveys the history of Buddhist traditions in the West. Beginning with 19th century colonial contact and Asian immigration through 21st century global exchanges, we will explore the various ways that Buddhists, Buddhist communities, and Buddhist ideas have come to and developed in Western contexts. Previous Buddhist studies courses helpful but not required.
Course will meet in person in Berkeley with a hybrid option
|HR-8107||INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM AND BUDDHIST STUDIES||Calobrisi||Online, asynchronous||This course introduces the student to the Buddhist tradition and the academic study of Buddhism. The course covers the development of Buddhism across Asia, its history, major texts, lineages, practices and doctrines. Secondarily, we will discuss the academic discipline of Buddhist studies, its own historical development, methodologies, orientations and assumptions. It is required for the Certificate in Buddhist Studies.
Format: Online Asynchronous
|HR-8140||INTRO TO SHIN BUDDHIST THGHT||Bridge||Online, synchronous meetings Mondays 9:40 - 12:30||Introduces the major ideas of Shin thought in the context of contemporary religious and philosophic discussions. Required course. [HR 1510, HR 1550, or Faculty permission is required if prerequisite courses have not been fulfilled.]
FA23 INTRODUCTION TO SHIN BUDDHIST THOUGHT
In addition to the above catalog description of the course, one of the following is required as a prerequisite: HR 1510 Introduction to Buddhist thought, HR 1550 Life and Teachings of the Buddha, or the instructor’s permission. The course will be held synchronously, with the option for asynchronous participation with the instructor’s permission.
|HR-8145||BUDDHIST JAPANESE I||Thompson||Online, synchronous meetings TBD||This course introduces the basics of Japanese grammar, vocabulary, kana & kanji (Japanese characters), and dictionary work. Students will acquire knowledge of the characteristics of Japanese grammar and some Buddhist terminology. Students learn various types of sentences, which include simple and compound sentences. The final exam requires the student to translate two (unrelated) paragraphs of simplified academic texts related to Buddhism. Course format: Lecture/ online. Evaluation method: Participation/ Homework Assignments/ 2 Exams/ 1 Essay.|
|HR-8357||BUDDHIST JAPANESE III||Thompson||Online, synchronous meetings TBD||This course introduces high intermediate Japanese grammar. It is focused on understanding compound and complex sentences. We also analyze why subjects and phrases are omitted in typical Japanese sentences. Students will acquire the knowledge of multiple language equivalents (Skt., Ch., Tib.) and the corresponding concepts within Buddhist thought. Students will continue to build upon knowledge of Buddhist terminology and kanji. Course format: Lecture. Evaluation method: Participation/exam. This is an online course. This course includes an in-person meeting, day and time to be determined by the instructor.|
|HRHS-8151||BUDDHIST TRDTNS OF SOUTH ASIA||Pokorny||Online, synchronous meetings Mondays 11:15 - 2:00||Introduces the Buddhist traditions as they originate in India and develop throughout south and southeast Asia. First half of the required year long introductory survey of the entire Buddhist tradition. Lecture/seminar. Requirements:1 research paper; 1 reflection paper; class presentation. Required course for: M.A. (Buddhist Studies), M.B.S, M.Div., Buddhist Chaplaincy Certificate Program, Kyoshi Cetificate. This online course includes a weekly meeting on Zoom|
|HRHS-8307||HSTRY OF SHIN BUDDHIST TRDTN||Wondra||Online (Zoom) Synchronous Meetings Tuesdays 6:00PM - 7:30PM (PST)||HISTORY OF THE SHIN BUDDHIST TRADITION: PREMODERN A survey of themes and problems in the history of Jodoshinshu Buddhism, from Honen into the Tokugawa period, including doctrine but also other associated issues (institutionalization, women's roles, evolution of teachings, interaction with political and economic regimes, etc.). Online course, with readings and written interactions among students and instructor. Evaluation based on weekly student writings and a final paper. Primary aim is to establish basic knowledge, which may serve as foundation for subsequent studies. For all students concerned with Shin Buddhism's interaction with Japanese history, but assumes some general familiarity with Buddhist traditions.|
|SA-3017||READINGS IN MAHAYANA TEXTS||Lin||On Campus with possible concurrent hybrid; Thursdays 9:40 - 12:30||READINGS IN MAHAYANA TEXTS
Previously offered as HR 3017/8317, SA-3017 effective from FA23.
Introduces a major Mahāyāna sūtra or śastra in English translation. May be augmented with work on text in canonic language(s). Usually alternates annually between the three Pure Land sūtras (required of ministerial aspirants) and other Mahāyāna texts. HRHS 1515 Buddhist Traditions of South Asia and HRHS 1518 Buddhist Traditions of East Asia are recommended as background. Fulfills the textual studies (Biblical Studies or Sacred Texts) requirement for the GTU MA.
FA23 READINGS IN MAHAYANA TEXTS: Bodhicaryāvatāra
This seminar studies the Bodhicaryāvatāra (Way of the Bodhisattva), a classic guide to the Mahāyāna Buddhist path, in English translation with commentaries and contemporary scholarly interpretation. We will discuss its themes including aspiration, compassion, wisdom, and patience, along with its place in historical and contemporary Buddhist traditions, its literary qualities, and the work of translation. An introductory level course in Buddhism is recommended as background. Fulfills the textual studies (Biblical Studies or Sacred Texts) requirement for the GTU MA. Suitable for MDiv, MA/MTS, and certificate students; DMin and PhD students may enroll with additional requirements. This course is offered in a concurrent hybrid format and may be taken either in-person or remotely with synchronous weekly meetings; before the first day of class, students should inform the instructor which format they plan to use.
|SA-4567||WORKS OF SHINRAN II||Miyaji||On Campus Only, Tuesdays 9:40 - 12:30||WORKS OF SHINRAN, II: TEACHING, PRACTICE, AND REALIZATION
Was HRPH 4567/8454
Introduction to the teachings of Shinran through a study of his major treatise. The course will focus on the doctrinal content of the text, making use of the English translation. HRPH-1614 Introduction to Shin Buddhist thought, and at least one year of college-level Japanese language study, at minimum, the ability to use a character dictionary, or the instructor’s permission is a prerequisite to enrollment. The course is required for ministerial aspirants. Fulfills the textual studies (Biblical Studies or Sacred Texts) requirement for the
Spring 2024 Course Schedule
|HRHS-8152||BUDDHIST TRDTNS OF EAST ASIA||Pokorny||Online, synchronous meetings Mondays 11:15 - 2:00||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. Usually offered each Spring semester. Course format: Online discussion. Evaluation method: Participation/term paper. Auditors require faculty permission.|
|HR-8150||ZEN BUDDHISM||Pokorny||Online||A survey of the history, teachings, doctrines, practices and textual traditions of Zen Buddhism as this tradition developed in China, Korea, Japan, and its contemporary transmission to the West. Socio- historical aspects of the tradition’s development and history will also be considered.|
|HR-8146||BUDDHIST JAPANESE II||Thompson||Online, synchronous meetings TBD||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.|
|HR-8359||BUDDHIST JAPANESE IV||Thompson||Online, synchronous meetings TBD||Students will be required to read extended text selections in Japanese. Discourse level grammar and sentence analysis will be studied in depth. Students will continue to build upon knowledge of Buddhist terminology and kanji. This course also introduces basics of classical Japanese. [Auditors with faculty permission]|
|HRHS-4551||TOPICS IN THERAVADA BUDDHIST THOUGHT||Quli||On Campus with possible concurrent hybrid; Mondays 9:40 - 12:30||Examination of a topic of the instructor’s choice drawing from the interactions between Theravada thought and contemporary thought and society. May be repeated for credit when the topic is different.|
|HRHS-5526||TPCS IN BUDDHISM IN THE WEST||Mitchell||On Campus with possible concurrent hybrid; Mondays 2:10 - 5:00||TOPICS IN BUDDHISM IN THE WEST Specialized topic related to the introduction of Buddhist thought and practice is selected by instructor. Course may be repeated for credit, if topic is different.|
|HRHS-8454||TPCS BUDDHIST TRADTNS OF JAPAN||Leighton||Online||Specialized topic related to the history of Buddhist thought and practice as it developed in Japan is selected by instructor. Course may be repeated for credit, if topic is different. HRHS 1518 Buddhist Tradition of East Asia recommended as background.|
|HRIR-2000||BUDDHISM AND WORLD RELIGIONS||Lin||On Campus with possible concurrent hybrid; Thursdays 9:40 - 12:30||SP23 BUDDHISM AND WORLD RELIGIONS
This seminar contextualizes the history, thought, and practice of Buddhism within the broad sweep of what has come to be called “world religions,” historically and contemporarily. We explore and analyze religion as a concept and via case studies from Asia, North America, and the Middle East. Evaluation methods include active participation in class discussions, weekly forum responses, and a final research project culminating in a class presentation and paper. Suitable for MDiv, MA/MTS, and certificate students. This course is offered online via synchronous meetings; with sufficient student interest, it may be delivered in a concurrent hybrid format with an in-person option. A potential hybrid format will be discussed on the first day of class.
Auditors require faculty permission.
|HRPH-4558||TOPICS IN BUDDHIST PRACTCE: ENGAGING BUDDHIST RITUAL||Arai||On Campus with possible concurrent hybrid; Wednesdays 9:40-12:30||Cross-cultural exploration of Buddhist rituals in historical and contemporary contexts. Analysis of ritualized activities, dynamics, intentions, and meanings. Background lectures will be offered to fuel seminar discussions. Reflections papers on readings, presentation of a ritual, written analysis of ritual.|
|PSHR-5160||TOPICS BUDDHIST PASTORAL CARE||Lin||On Campus only; Tuesdays 9:40 - 12:30||SP24 TOPICS IN BUDDHIST PASTORAL CARE
Specialized topic(s) on the relationship between pastoral care and Buddhist thought and practice are selected by the instructor in collaboration with students. This course is offered in seminar format with students developing and presenting their research in the field of Buddhist pastoral care. Evaluation methods include active participation in class discussions, weekly response papers, and a final research project that includes mid- and end-of-semester class presentations and discussions. The course may be repeated for credit if the topic is different.
Prerequisite: PSHR-3076 Buddhist Pastoral Care I
Suitable for MDiv, MA/MTS, and DMin students.
Faculty consent is required. Maximum enrollment, 20. Auditors are excluded.
|SA-4568||WORKS OF SHINRAN III: TEACING, PRACTICE, AND REALIZATION, CONTINUED||Miyaji||On Campus Only, Tuesdays 9:40 - 12:30||WORKS OF SHINRAN III: TEACHING, PRACTICE AND REALIZATION, CONTINUED Continuation of the study of Shinran's major treatise, which was taken up in HR 4567 Works of Shinran II. Course is recommended for ministerial aspirants. Fulfills the Area Distribution Requirement for Area I. [HR-4567/SA-4567 or equivalent as determined by the instructor; Faculty Consent required] [This course was formerly listed as HR-4568]|
|SA-8160||READINGS IN EARLY BUDDHIST TEXTS||Calobrisi||Online, asynchronous||SP24 SA-8160
READINGS IN EARLY BUDDHIST TEXTS: The Ten Perfections and Ethical Action in the Jatakas.
The Jatakas or "birth stories" are a genre of Buddhist literature that focus on the Buddha's previous lives as the bodhisattva. While the Jatakas have been typecast in Western scholarship as simple didactic stories suited for children and the illiterate, this estimation ignores the subtlety they convey, particularly when it comes to ethical deliberation and the practice of the ten perfections (giving, virtue, renunciation, discernment, effort, patience, honesty, resolution, loving-kindness, and equanimity). This course will introduce students to this genre of literature by surveying stories collected in Pali and Sanskrit (in English translation), contextualizing them through secondary scholarship, and considering how they present complex ideas about ethical action, the meaning of a good life, and the practice of the ten perfections. This course will be offered asynchronously and may be used to fulfill either the textual studies or the ethics requirement for degree program students.
|SA-8317||READINGS IN MAHAYANA TEXTS: THREE PURE LAND SUTRAS||Bridge||Online, synchronous meetings Mondays 9:40 - 12:30||[was HR 3017/8317]
Spring 2024: Three Pure Land Sutras; required for Shin Certificate Students.
Introduces a major Mahāyāna sūtra or śastra in English translation. May be augmented with work on text in canonic language(s). Usually alternates annually between the three Pure Land sūtras (required of ministerial aspirants) and other Mahāyāna texts. HRHS 1515 Buddhist Traditions of South Asia and HRHS 1518 Buddhist Traditions of East Asia are recommended as background. Auditors require faculty permission.
|HRHS-4560||TOPICS IN BUDDHIST WOMEN: ZEN||Arai||On Campus with possible concurrent hybrid; Tuesdays 2:10-5:00||Historical and contemporary exploration of Zen as practiced by women in China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and the US. Background lectures will be offered to fuel seminar discussions. Reflections papers on readings and presentation on research. Synchronous remote attendance is available for non-residential Sōtō Zen Certificate students.|