BUD5251EN - Buddhist Meditation

Course description

Analysis of the nature and function of Buddhist meditation as it developed within various Buddhist traditions of South, Southeast, and East Asia. Students will critically assess the historical evolution, doctrinal foundations, and common routines associated with Buddhist meditation practices in order to effectively engage Buddhists in fruitful missional dialogue.

How this course benefits students

Meditation is important in the Buddhist concept of spirituality, but its historical development, theological foundation, and purpose differ in many ways from the Christian teachings concerning meditation. Missional leaders engaging Buddhists need to understand what meditation means to Buddhists in order to create communication bridges.

Why this course is important

In order the engage Buddhists in missional dialogue, Christians first need a firm foundation in the biblical theology of the practice of meditation. Then, they need an overview of the development of the meaning and purpose of meditation for Buddhists. A comparison and contrast of the two viewpoints will allow students to identify opportunities for building missional bridges to the Buddhist concept of spirituality.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Buddhist Studies
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

Students will examine the theological foundation of Buddhist meditation and identify the theological similarities and differences between Buddhist and Christian teachings on meditation. In the course, students will develop a biblical theology of the practice of meditation.

Missionally driven

In order to create relational bridges to Buddhists, students will explore the meaning and purpose of meditation from a Buddhist perspective.

Contextually informed

Students will use the principles of biblical contextualization to communicate with Buddhists regarding meditation and spirituality.

Interculturally focused

The cultural nuances and practice of meditation differs in the various streams of Buddhism in Asia. Students will research the historical and theological foundations of meditation as Buddhists understand and practice it.

Practically minded

Students will develop their own biblical theology of the practice of meditation and be able to identify how the Christian teachings on meditation are similar to and different from the various Buddhist teachings on and practices of meditation.

Experientially transformed

Students will be encouraged to seek out practicing Buddhists to develop culturally-appropriate methods for learning about Buddhist meditation. During the course, members of the class will have opportunities to share insights and information to assist other students in their awareness of cultural differences.