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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

THEO2220 Buddhism

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Mikel Burley

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module provides a broad introduction to the study of Buddhism, beginning from a critical examination of historical origins, practices and doctrines. Ideas, social forms and lineages of practice from later periods and different cultural contexts are considered, illuminating problematic issues of tradition, innovation and social order. A variety of methodological approaches are applied, including those derived from philosophy and religious studies, and diverse textual sources are analysed, including both primary and secondary material. Among the topics discussed are the contemporary practice of Buddhism, the role and status of women in Buddhism and the position of Buddhism in an increasingly globalised world.


- To introduce students to the broad range of ideas and practices that have characterised Buddhist religious forms in different cultures and historical periods;
- to enable students to reflect critically on those forms and on the scholarly interpretations that have been significant for the development of the academic study of Buddhism.

Learning outcomes
The ability to critically assess a variety of influences, social, cultural, soteriological and philosophical, which combine to continually reform a major tradition of ideas and ritual practices.


- The origins of Buddhism and their imaginative recreation; the elision and revelation of experience by doctrine
- Ideal and real forms of Buddhist practice
- The origins and philosophy of the Mahayana
- The practice of Tantra in India and Tibet
- Theravada under colonialism in South/Southeast Asia
- The transmission of Buddhism to China and Japan
- Forms of contemporary Buddhism in Britain
- The consequences of globalisation.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours179.00
Total Contact hours21.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminar performance, attendance register, one-to-one discussion of essay plans, feedback on partial drafts.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 15/05/2018


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