Foundational Texts in Humanistic Buddhism


    Key Information

    Lecture dates: 21 - 25 September 2020 Census date: 21 September 2020
    Lecturer: Venerable Dr Juewei Duration: 5 weeks (incl. 5 days on-campus)*
    Location: NTI Wollongong Campus, 231 Nolan St, Unanderra, NSW 2526, Australia
    Subject Code: HB901

    Subject Overview

    This subject serves as a survey of texts contributing to the development of Humanistic Buddhism worldwide.  Students will become acquainted with recent scholarship on doctrines and historical development based on key passages from canonical texts such as Majjhima Nikāya, Buddhacarita, Diamond Sūtra, Platform Sūtra, Lotus Sūtra, Bodhicaryāvatāra, Vimalakirti Sūtra and Sumati Sūtra.  A study of more recent commentaries of these sūtras by humanistic Buddhist masters aims to cultivate students’ analytical ability and understanding of contemporary interpretation.  In addition, the subject informs students about different methodological approaches to textual analysis, issues with translation, as well as the writings and lives of exemplary Buddhist practitioners.


    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this subject, participants will be able to:

      Analyse and evaluate Buddhist textual tradition, focusing on the transmission and interpretation of teachings and practices for socially-engaged Humanistic Buddhism

      Demonstrate understanding of Humanistic Buddhism approaches through identifying relevant problems and synthesising practical solutions.
     Critically analyse and communicate the implications and influences of textual interpretations and different cultural paradigms of Buddhist practices on contemporary Humanistic Buddhist masters
      Demonstrate the ability to pose questions, investigate and analyse contemporary Humanistic Buddhist thought, and demonstrate application of the findings through oral and written academic reports on a program.

    Lecture topics and class activities include

      Introduction to the history of the compilation of Buddhist sūtras, including review of the development of different Buddhist textual tradition

      Buddhist hermeneutics
      The Nikāyas and Āgamas
      Humanistic virtues in Diamond Sūtra, Platform Sūtra, Lotus Sūtra, Bodhicaryāvatāra
      The Buddha’s humanistic lifestyle (Buddhacarita)
      Practices of Buddhist laity (Vimalakirti Sūtra and Sumati Sūtra)
      Eminent Buddhist monastics

    * Time structure:

    - 1st week: pre-reading

    - 2nd week: face-to-face classes at NTI Wollongong Campus
    - 3rd to 5th week: time for completing written assessments