BUD4651EN - Buddhism in Western Cultural Contexts

Course description

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.

How this course benefits students

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.

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 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.

Missionally driven

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.

Contextually informed

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.

Interculturally focused

Students will use cross-cultural research and intercultural interaction to discover the many expressions of Buddhism in Western culture.

Practically minded

In course assignments, students will examine and develop various approaches for engaging Buddhists in the Western context.

Experientially transformed

Through projects, research, and interviews, students will ha hands-on experience analyzing the forms and expressions of Western Buddhism.