Survey of the transformation of Buddhism as it has moved from her traditional Asian homeland into European and North American contexts. Students will study the encounter of Buddhism with Western philosophy, theism, and culture, all of which have shaped the rise and expression of Buddhism in the West.
The Western context shaped the expression of Buddhism as it expanded into Europe and North America. To develop effective approaches to Western Buddhists, students need not only the core teachings of Buddhism, but also an understanding of the Western variations and adaptations.
Students will start with a basic understanding of the biblical teaching on the Great Commission. They will also have opportunities to compare biblical concepts with the teachings of Western Buddhism.
Students will tackle the challenge of discerning where God is at work with people whose expressions of Buddhism include the traditional teachings, Western adaptations, and adoption of Western concepts.
Students will examine the sociocultural contexts of traditional Buddhism, the impact of Western influences, and the demographic, sociographic, and geographic components that shaped the expression of Buddhism in the West.
Students will use cross-cultural research and intercultural interaction to discover the many expressions of Buddhism in Western culture.
In course assignments, students will examine and develop various approaches for engaging Buddhists in the Western context.
Through projects, research, and interviews, students will ha hands-on experience analyzing the forms and expressions of Western Buddhism.