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Elective: Religions ‘On the Move’: the Case of Global Buddhism.

Vak
2016-2017

Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies who have succesfully completed the second year elective course.
The number of participants is limited to 25.

Description

There is something truly international about Buddhism. It may in fact be one of the few common denominators within that notoriously vague and somewhat orientalist notion “Asia”, which is and always has been of tremendous importance and impact on the global arena. Buddhism also has spread beyond Asia and, mainly through popular culture (Richard Gere), entered our homes (Buddha statues) and even the privacy of our very minds (mindfulness).

This course addresses the question what happens when a ‘religion’, such as Buddhism, ‘spreads’ and becomes an international force; how does it spread and what are the underlying culture dynamics (also in terms of social, economic and political forces); and what local responses are provoked? Are transferred religions faithfully replicated or are they reinvented according to the logic of the receiving cultures, and if the latter, can we still consider them the same religion? In this case study of Global Buddhism we explore the latter avenue, by way of working hypothesis, and try to relate this to the theoretical framings needed for other case studies.

While we shall strive to find focus in our seminar by asking what we can learn from the case of ‘Global Buddhism’, this course is open to inquiry and essays on all pertinent case studies: from Roman Catholicism, Evangelical Christianity, Islam, Wicca, the practice of (pregnancy) yoga, to the global aspirations of militant Mujahidin.

Course objectives

The elective courses for International Studies are designed to teach students how to deal with state-of-the-art literature and research questions. They are chosen to enhance the students’ learning experience by building on the interdisciplinary perspectives they have developed so far, and to introduce them to the art of academic research. They are characterised by an international or comparative approach.
Academic skills that are trained include:

Oral presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience;
3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.

Collaboration skills:
1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.

Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.

Written presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured written presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience.

Timetable

The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

Seminar and supervised research.

Course Load

Total course load for the course: 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours, broken down by:
Te be announced

Assessment method

To be announced

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

To be announced

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact

Dr. H.W.A.Blezer

Remarks

Not applicable