Tibetan Buddhism: Translations and transformations

Course content

The course is open to all BA-students who are interested in Tibetan Buddhism – there are no requirements. It can form the basis for an elective in Tibetology (15-page home assignment at the end of the term) or other education programmes relating to religious studies, China Studies and the like. The course will be taught in English (or Danish if only Scandinavian students are signed up).

The course “Tibetan Buddhism: Translations and transformations” enquires into Tibetan Buddhism as an interdisciplinary topic of investigation through bridging Buddhology, religious studies, Tibetology and anthropology. By taking an integrative approach to the study of Tibetan Buddhism, using the different sources that are available to us (texts, ethnographic insights, material objects, etc.), we investigate Tibetan Buddhism not only in temples, monasteries, and the homes of Buddhists, but also in non-Buddhist settings such as the market, cooperation and government.

The first part of the course introduces key concepts within Tibetan Buddhism as they are ideally understood in textual sources. We soon move beyond textuality to the second and main part of the course, where we discuss how Tibetan Buddhism is practiced and experienced among clergy, laity and non-believers. This inquiry into the translations and transformations of Buddhism in everyday life will give us a very different picture of Tibetan Buddhism in the modern world, where it can be an ideal, philosophy, religion, identity, secularity, science, politics, lifestyle, product, technique and practice that is restricted and enabled by organization, politics, capitalism, faith and so forth. Topics that will be discussed in the classroom include:

  • theoretical foundations and key concepts
  • monasticism and everyday lay Buddhism
  • rituals and materiality
  • the Dalai Lama institution
  • mindfulness
  • science and secularity
  • the politics of reincarnation
  • Tibetan Buddhism and the Chinese State
  • globalized Tibetan Buddhism

 

The teacher and course responsible is Trine Brox, but we will also invite guest professors (whose writings are on the syllabus) to present their research. Through the topic of Tibetan Buddhism, this course also aims at helping students develop general competences. Hence we consciously seek to integrate in the classroom activities: (1) conducting analysis, (2) handling theory, and (3) reading critically. 

Education

Curriculum for the BA programme in Asian Studies with specialisations in Indology, Japanese Studies, China Studies, Korean Studies, Southeast Asian Studies and Tibetology, The 2015 Curriculum

Curriculum for the BA programme in Asian Studies with specialisations in Indology, Japanese Studies, China Studies, Korean Studies, Southeast Asian Studies and Tibetology, The 2010 Curriculum

Curriculum for the Elective Studies in Tibetology The 2007 Curriculum

Curriculum for Master´s Programme in Asianstudies The 2008 Curriculum

Curriculum for the BA-programme with main subject in Religious Studies, the 2010 Curriculum

Curriculum for the BA-programme with main subject in Religious Studies, the 2015 Curriculum

Curriculum for the Elective Studies in Religious Studies The 2007 Curriculum

Curriculum for the Elective Studies in Religious Studies the 2015 Curriculum

Curriculum for Master´s Programme in History of Religions The 2008 Curriculum

Curriculum for Master´s Programme in History of Religions The 2017 Curriculum

Curriculum for Master’s Programme in Sociology of Religion The 2008 Curriculum

Curriculum for Master’s Programme in Sociology of Religion The 2017 Curriculum

Learning outcome

Asienstudier BA 2015-ordning:
Tibetologi realia 1 med sprog (fagelementkode HTIB00831E)

Asienstudier BA 2010-ordning:
Indologisk realia 1 (fagelementkode HIDB00671E)
Indologisk realia 2 (fagelementkode HIDB00731E)
Indologisk realia 3 (fagelementkode HIDB00761E)
Japansk realia 1 (fagelementkode HJAB00671E)
Japansk realia 2 (fagelementkode HJAB00731E)
Japansk realia 3 (fagelementkode HJAB00761E)
Kinesisk realia 1 (fagelementkode HKIB00731E)
Kinesisk realia 2 (fagelementkode HKIB00761E)
Koreansk realia 1 (fagelementkode HKOB00671E)
Koreansk realia 2 (fagelementkode HKOB00731E)
Koreansk realia 3 (fagelementkode HKOB00761E)
Sydøstasiatisk realia 1 (fagelementkode HIØB00671E/HTHB00671E)
Sydøstasiatisk realia 2 (fagelementkode HIØB00741E/HTHB00741E)
Sydøstasiatisk realia 3 (fagelementkode HIØB00761E/HTHB00761E)
Tibetologisk realia 1 (fagelementkode HTIB00671E)
Tibetologisk realia 2 (fagelementkode HTIB00731E)
Tibetologisk realia 3 (fagelementkode HTIB00761E)

Religionsvidenskab BA 2010:
Valgfrit område (fagelementkode HREB00311E)
Bachelorprojekt (fagelementkode HREB00351E)

Religionsvidenskab BA 2015:
Valgfrit område (fagelementkode HRVB00061E)
Valgfrit område med sprog (fagelementkode HRVB00081E)
Bachelorprojekt (fagelementkode HRVB00091E)

Tibetologi BA tilvalg 2007-ordning:
Tibetologisk Realia A (fagelementkode HTIB10041E)
Tibetologisk Realia B (fagelementkode HTIB10061E)

Religionsvidenskab BA tilvalg 2016-ordning:
Valgfrit område (fagelementkode HRVB10181E)

Religionsvidenskab BA gymnasierettede tilvalg 2015-ordning:
Valgfrit område med sprog (fagelementkode HRVB10121E)

Asienstudier KA 2008-ordning:
Tværfagligt tema:
Tibetologi (fagelementkode HTIK03021E)
Japanstudier (fagelementkode HJAK03032E)
Indonesisk (fagelementkode HFKK00356E)
Indologi (fagelementkode HIDK03021E)
Kinastudier (fagelementkode HKIK03022E)
Thai (fagelementkode HFKK00372E)

Religionshistorie KA 2008-ordning:
Speciel religionshistorie A (fagelementkode HRHK03661E)
Speciel religionshistorie B (fagelementkode HRHK03671E)

Religionshistorie KA 2017-ordning:
Frit valgt emne (fagelementkode HRVK03131E)

Religionssociologi KA 2008-ordning:
Særligt studeret område: Religion og politik (fagelementkode HRSK03441E)
Særligt studeret område: Regional religionssociologi (fagelementkode HRSK03481E)
Særligt studeret område (fagelementkode HRSK03431E)

Religionssociologi KA 2017-ordning:
Frit valgt emne (fagelementkode HRVK03131E)

lectures, guest talks, discussion, excursions, exercises

A detailed list of readings for each class can be found in Absalon/Canvas well ahead of semester start. Although prior knowledge of Buddhism is not required, some familiarity with the basics of Buddhism and Tibet is an advantage. Suggested books available in our library are:

Harvey, Peter 2013. An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. (521 pages)

Keown, Damien 2013. Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, Oxford University Press. (158 pages)

Samuel, Geoffrey. 2012. Introducing Tibetan Buddhism. Abingdon: Routledge.

In the first class, we will discuss the following book:

 

Kapstein, Matthew T. 2014. Tibetan Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (130 pages)

ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Other

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 412,5
  • English
  • 412,5