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The Religions of Tibet
CEUS-R 373/573
Staff

This course carries CASE A&H designation

This course, open to both graduate and undergraduate students, aims to provide a historical survey of Tibetan religions, as well as to explore their impact on Tibetan society and culture. This course will consider the interactions between religions and society and religions and politics and analyze how religious influences shape public lifestyles, affect historical developments and inspire movements. In addition, this course will illustrate how these influences change and adapt through the centuries, and how religions have functioned and continue to function as a strong social adhesive in moulding Tibetan identity. The first part of the course will proceed chronologically, furnishing a picture of the historical development of Tibetan religions, while the latter part will explore some of the major themes of Tibetan religions, such as rituals, festivals, monasticism and pilgrimage.

Course requirements: Attendance and participation (20%); mid-term (25%) and final exams (25%).  Undergraduate students: final comment paper (5-10 pp.) on a monographic work selected in consultation with the instructor (30%); Graduate students: 15-20 pp. research paper on a topic selected in consultation with the instructor (30%).

Textbooks (Undergraduate students):
- John Powers: Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications, 2007. ISBN-10: 1559392827; ISBN-13: 978-1559392822
- G. Tucci: The Religions of Tibet. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988. ISBN-10: 0520063481; ISBN-13: 978-0520063488
- Matthew Kapstein, The Tibetans, Blackwell, 2006. ISBN 10: 0631225749; ISBN 13: 978-0631225744.

Textbooks (Graduate students):
- Gene Smith: Among Tibetan Texts. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2001. ISBN-10: 0861711793; ISBN-13: 978-0861711796
- Ronald Davidson: Tibetan Renaissance: Tantric Buddhism in the Rebirth of Tibetan Culture. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. ISBN-10: 0231134711 ISBN-13: 978-0231134712
- Donald Lopez, ed.: Religions of Tibet in Practice. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997. ISBN-10: 0691011834; ISBN-13: 978-0691011837
- Georges Dreyfus: The Sound of Two Hands Clapping. Berkeley, University of California Press, 2003. ISBN-10: 0520232593; ISBN-13: 978-0520232594
- Melvyn Goldstein and Matthew Kapstein, eds: Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1998. ISBN-10: 0520211316; ISBN-13: 978-0520211315
- Geoffrey Samuel: Civilized Shamans. Buddhism in Tibetan Societies. Smithsonian, 1995. ISBN-10: 1560986204; ISBN-13: 978-1560986201

Books on reserve (Undergraduate & Graduate):
- D. Snellgrove: Indo-Tibetan Buddhism
- H. Diemberger and Pasang Wangdu, (tr.): dBa’ bzhed, the Royal Narrative Concerning the Bringing of the Buddha’s Doctrines to Tibet.
- The Life of Milarepa
- P. Kvaerne, The Bon Religion of Tibet
- The Dalai Lamas: A Visual History.