University of Sydney Handbooks - 2013 Archive

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Buddhist Studies

The Buddhist Studies program is in the School of Languages and Culture (SLC).

Program structure and content
Buddhist Studies, which may be taken as an undergraduate major, is a unique interdisciplinary program integrating language and non-language units of study within the School of Languages and Cultures. This program familiarizes students with the dynamic nature of Buddhist philosophical, artistic, scriptural, literary, ritual and meditative traditions in India, Sri Lanka, South-East Asia, Tibet, China and Japan, as well as the ways that these traditions have engaged with Globalization and the West in modernity and post-modernity. It also provides students with an understanding of the historical, social, cultural and political contexts in which Buddhist traditions emerged and continue to develop, as well as how ideas, doctrines and practices have changed during the course of Buddhism’s transmission across cultures. Units of study in selected Asian languages, namely, Sanskrit and Pali (offered by the Department of Indian Sub-continental Studies), Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (also offered within the School of Languages and Cultures) may be counted toward the Buddhist Studies major. Students considering Buddhist Studies as a major are encouraged to take at least one of these languages through the course of their degree, as this enables sophisticated engagement with primary textual sources (such as Buddhist philosophical and meditative treatises, literature, art and inscriptions) as well as facilitating direct engagement with contemporary Buddhist communities in Asia and in Asian diasporas around the world. Selected non-language units of study from the Asian Studies program may also be counted toward the Buddhist Studies major. An emphasis is placed upon equipping students with the necessary analytical and methodological skills in cross-cultural understanding to carry out higher level research in Buddhist Studies.

Requirements for a major
Students who wish to major in Buddhist Studies must complete 36 senior credit points of BDST coded and cross-listed units; these 36 senior level units must include BDST2611 and/or BDST2612 (these will be offered in 2014).

Crosslisting policy
Please check the cross-listing schedule located on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences website.

Foreign language requirement for major
There is no language requirement for the major, although the study of one or more of the languages of Buddhism is encouraged and highly desirable.

Pathways towards a major
BDST1602 (not compulsory). BDST2611 and/or BDST2612 must be completed. The remaining units may be chosen from BDST2613, BDST2614, BDST2615, BDST2616, ASNS2626, SANS2601, SANS2602, SANS3601, SANS3602, SANS2612, SANS3612, and CHNS2604. Units of study may only be waived due to prior experience or expertise and is subject to departmental approval.

Buddhist Studies Honours entry requires the completion of 8 senior units of study: a major at credit average in BDST coded and cross-listed units of study, including both BDST2611 and BDST2612, and a minimum of 2 senior units of study (totalling 12 senior level credit points) from any of the following languages: Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese (Classical or Modern), Japanese or Korean.

Contact/further information
Department website:
Chair of Department: Dr Mark Allon

Undergraduate coordinator: Dr Wendi Adamek