Buddhism and Modern Society

Subject code ABS922
Lecturer TBA
Delivery mode Online, live
Duration Ten weeks
Next start date Visit timetable


Subject Overview

This subject explores how Buddhism is shaped by and shapes societies that are very different from its culture of origin. To this end, students explore the different contrasting dimensions of today’s modern society in holistic terms with reference to Buddhist systems of beliefs and practices. In addition, students study how major Buddhist groups respond to contemporary issues and world events by adapting and reinterpreting ancient doctrines for the modern world.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically analyse the context and contributions of the Buddha’s systems of beliefs and practices, from the viewpoints of globalisation and modenity.
  2. Evaluate modern impacts on Buddhist communities and their corresponding responses. 
  3. Interpret the teachings such as impermanence and skilful means in the light of challenges of our time. 
  4. Interpret the notion of interdependence and the practice of compassion in social settings today.
  5. Critically analyse the role of the Sangha in modern society and its future prospects. 
  6. Develop research skills.


  • Assessment 1: Reflective journal (20%)
  • Assessment 2: Critical review of book, book section or article (30%)
  • Assessment 3: Final paper on a research topic (50%)


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