Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

RLST 104: Introduction to Buddhism

RLST 104: Introduction to Buddhism


Ng, On-Cho


Tues, Thurs


1:35 - 2:50 P.M.


Boucke Bldg 106


A general survey of the basic doctrine, practice, and historical development of Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism. RLST 104 / ASIA 104 Introduction to Buddhism (3) (GH;IL)(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

This course is a general survey of the historical development, basic doctrines, and practices of Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Buddhism. The course is structured around the “Three Jewels” of Buddhism: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.That is to say, we will learn about the Buddha as a historical figure and spirit; we will come to understand the basic elements of his doctrinal teachings; and we will examine the community of followers who have practiced his teachings.

Special attention will be paid to the various “geographies” of Buddhism as expressed through different cultures in ancient India,Southeast Asia, and East Asia. At the conclusion of the course, we will encounter Buddhism as a relatively new cultural force in America. The course revolves around the discussion of key issues in the philosophy, ethics, and theology of various forms of Buddhism.