THL450: Theories and Methods of Buddhist Studies
April 29 @ 1:45 pm - 3:45 pm
An event every week that begins at 1:45 pm on Monday, repeating until 05/18/2019
THL450 Theories and Methods of Buddhist Studies
with Leigh Miller
Mondays: 1:45 – 3:45 pm
This course is designed to give students the methodological and theoretical tools needed to think critically about ways to approach the academic study of Buddhism.
What are the goals of Buddhist Studies? What are the best methods for achieving those goals? What sorts of presuppositions and assumptions do we bring into our work and our orientation towards “Buddhism”? Do our presuppositions and assumptions serve our goals? How do political, religious, and/or ideological preferences impact our engagement with the object of study? What are the authoritative sources for the information we want and how do we determine that? How do we understand and interpret the “data”? What sorts of responsibilities do scholars have?
What we study and how we study it are inextricably tied to questions of theory and method. Those who see methodological discussions as needless academic meanderings do not somehow thereby free themselves of methodological biases. Everybody engages their object of study with a theoretical and methodological orientation. The goal of this class is to encourage students to do so consciously, to think about their own assumptions and the assumptions of the broader community of scholars who engage the Buddhist traditions within modernity and postmodernity.