(1 credit)  Buddha, “the awakened,” is the ideal being – and state of being – in all Buddhist traditions. This course will explore the contours of the Buddha-ideal as revealed in legendary narratives, devotional poems, ritual texts, visionary accounts, philosophical treatises, meditation manuals, and artistic representations. We will consider both classical conceptions of Buddha and modern reinterpretations. In doing so, we will trace “Buddha” from the historical Shakyamuni’s biography, to Mahayana metaphysics, the arts and devotional practices, and into our contemporary social and cultural contexts.