Overview of the Buddhist religious tradition, covering the life of the Buddha, the origins of Buddhism in India, the development of major doctrines and institutions, the nature and practice of meditation, the tradition’s growth and spread throughout Asia, as well as contemporary expressions of Buddhism
When engaging individuals from a Buddhist culture, missional leaders need to understand the key historical, religious and sociological factors that gave rise to Buddhism, its fundamental teachings, the role of meditation in Buddhism, and the significant worldview and doctrinal differences between Buddhism and Christianity.
This course provides a foundation in the religious tradition, history, and basic doctrines of Buddhism. Students will be prepared to engage Buddhists and Buddhist communities with an understanding of the fundamental teachings and worldview.
Students will start with a basic understanding of relevant Christian doctrines. From that foundation, they will identify the significant differences between Buddhism and Christianity. Special attention will be given to (1) the origin and nature of the universe, (2) the basic problem of mankind, and (3) the soteriological prescription.
Students will explore unique contextual bridges and barriers for effectively engaging Buddhist individuals and communities.
Students will investigate the core concepts and teaching of Buddhism from a Buddhist perspective and apply principles of biblical contextualization to understand how these teachings differ from Christian perspectives on the same topics.
Students will examine culturally-appropriate ways to work in Buddhist communities and interact with individuals from Buddhist cultures. During the course, students will use cross-cultural and multinational approaches.
In course assignments, students will examine the core concepts of Buddhism and develop a solid understanding of the essential differences between the doctrines and worldviews of Buddhists and Christians.
Through projects, research, and personal interaction with Buddhists, students will gain experience understanding the concepts and expressions of various forms of Buddhism.