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HIS301 History of Buddhist Thought in India & Tibet 

This course will provide a broad-based survey of the history of Buddhism in India and Tibet. We will begin by discussing the historical and cultural context out of which Buddhism emerged. From here we will discuss the brahmana (ascetic) movement, the life the historical Buddha, and the formulation of the early sangha.

After discussing Buddhism during the lifetime of the Buddha, we will cover the early history of Buddhism including the early Buddhist councils, the creation of the Buddhist canon, and the formulation of early Buddhist schools. We will then cover the beginnings of the Mahayana, the early Mahayana philosophers and the intellectual history of Mahayana Buddhism in India. In addition to reading histories of Buddhism, we will also read and discuss scholarly articles about the proper methods for approaching and understanding this history.

We will then turn our attention to the transmission of Buddhism from India to Tibet. We will discuss the key figures in both the early and later disseminations of Buddhism to Tibet and the key events which helped shape the forms Tibetan Buddhism takes today. Each of the four major Tibetan Buddhist schools as well as the indigenous Bon tradition, their histories, key figures, texts and lineages will be discussed. Students will gain a detailed understanding of the religious and intellectual history of Buddhism in Tibet, including the key figures, lineages, texts, and practices which make the schools of Buddhism in Tibet unique.

Meet the Instructor (click here): William (Bill) Magee, PhD

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3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Maitripa College


Maitripa College
1119 SE Market St.
Portland, OR 97214 United States
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