Christ and the Bodhisattva: Comparative Theology and Buddhist Wisdom

REL649
Spring 2018
Area: 
Area II, Area V
MDIV Requirements: 
Non-Christian Religion, Diversity
Professor: 
Permission Not Required
Limited Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course provides a brief introduction to the general field of comparative theology, a basic orientation to Mahayana Buddhist teaching and practice (with a particular focus on the case of the bodhisattva through the lens of Śāntideva’s classic The Way of the Bodhisattva), and an exploration of Christian comparative reflection on these sources. We will engage several prominent theologians working in the Buddhist-Christian theological conversation and explore ways in which Christian thought and practice can be informed by comparative learning from Buddhist sources. 

Background Expected: 

Students are not expected to have prior background in the study of Buddhism but they are expected to have some background in Christian theology. 

Course Requirements: 

Seminar expectations: reading done on time, attendance and active engagement in discussion,

Reading response papers and discussion leadership as assigned

Short Paper (6-8 pages)

Final Project: preliminary brief paper and oral presentation on final project, final paper (15-20 pages)

Basis of Evaluation: 

Class Participation brief (sat/unsat) papers and discussion leadership  20% of final grade

Short paper   6-8 pages                                                                           20% of final grade

Comparative topic exploration   3 pages and oral presentation             20% of final grade

Comparative topic final paper    15-20 pages                                                    40% of final grade