2520Fall 2022
3 Credits

Introduction to Buddhism

Buddhism has over twenty-five hundred years of history and has taken root, in one form and another and at one time or another, in virtually every country in Asia.
Wen Haiming 温海明
Course Introduction
Wen Haiming 温海明
Wen Haiming 温海明Ph.D. University of Hawaii

Professor Haiming Wen received his Ph.D. in comparative philosophy from the University of Hawaii in 2006. He is now a professor at the School of Philosophy, Renmin (People’s) University of China (RUC), The Beijing Center (TBC, since 2007), Yeching Academy (YCA, since 2015). He was previously a post-doctoral fellow (2006-12) and Master’s student (1996-99) in the Department of Philosophy, Peking University. He has published the books Making One’s Intentions Concrete: Dimensions of Confucian Ethics (RUC Press, 2014), Confucian Pragmatism as the Art of Contextualizing Personal Experience and World (in English: Lexington, 2009), and Chinese Philosophy (in English: Cambridge University Press, 2012; in Chinese: China International Press, 2010). He has also published more than 50 journal articles in both English and Chinese, including more than 10 articles in English peer-reviewed journals like Asian Philosophy, Journal of Chinese Philosophy, Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy, Contemporary Chinese Thought, Culture and Psychology, Frontier of Chinese Philosophy, etc. He has been selected as one of the New Century Excellent Talents (NCET) by the Chinese Ministry of Education in 2010, and one of the Ming De Scholars of RUC. He is the secretary-general, and Director of Research for International Association of Yijing (the Book of Changes) Studies. He is a member of the Advisory Editorial Board of the journal Asian Philosophy, and was the Associate Editor-in-Chief for the English Journal Frontiers of Philosophy in China, and editor-in-chief for the “International Studies on Chinese Philosophy” series for Peking University Press. He has been invited to present more than 50 papers in more than 20 countries all over the world.

  • Comparative Philosophy
  • Metaphysics
  • Confucianism
  • Psychology

Introduction to Buddhism

UIBE serves as our School of Record
3 Credits
Download Syllabus

Course Description

Buddhism has over twenty-five hundred years of history and has taken root, in one form and another and at one time or another, in virtually every country in Asia. In more recent times, it has found a niche in Western nations as well.

This class aims at giving the students an overview of basic Buddhist doctrine, a introduction of the history of its development in India, China and Tibet and a discussion of certain related religious topics, such as religious experience and asceticism. This class will be divided into three parts, namely, early Buddhism in India, Mahayana Buddhism in China and Tantric practice in Tibet. Each of the three part will be dealt with in the above mentioned doctrinal and historical perspectives.

Though this class is primarily a survey class of Buddhist practice, there will be sessions of class addressing specific issues of Buddhist practice. It is considered to be beneficial for the students to dive deeper into certain areas of the vast array of social and cultural phenomena that have clustered in the course of time around a figure called the Buddha. The purpose of doing so is to portray somehow more precisely the thoughts and actions of the large segment of human race who have called themselves Buddhists.

Courses Outcomes

On successful completion of this course (i.e. by passing this course), a student will be able to

  1. Demonstrate knowledge, with attention to historical development, of the central texts, beliefs, ethical understandings, and practices of Buddhism.
  2. Analyze and interpret Buddhist religious texts, beliefs, and practices using standard scholarly methods and tools.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of and capacity to articulate the foundations of Buddhism, whether they are Buddhist themselves or not.
  4. Monitor students’ own individual thinking or behavior in relationship to Buddhism in order to question, confirm, validate, or correct their presuppositions and pre-judgments.
  5. Demonstrate how faith traditions or belief systems, in this case Buddhism, have been or can be related to the intellectual and cultural life of Buddhists