This postgraduate course will enable you to acquire a deep and broad understanding of the key themes of Humanistic Buddhism through historical, socio-cultural and textual studies.
You will engage in critical exploration of contemporary issues, as well as develop a personal understanding of key roles and identity, through contemplative reflection on practice and studies.
On completion of the course, you will be able to develop a deeper sense of purpose, be more self-aware and open to new experiences, and be better equipped to be of service to others. This course welcomes students from all Buddhist traditions.
This course would benefit those working within Buddhist communities, or consciously-minded education/business professionals who are seeking to enhance the impact of their work. By truly understanding, sharing, and working with humanistic values in your workplace and career, you will gain the skills to develop an innovative culture of understanding, mindfulness and care within your organisation.
In addition, the program will prepare you across disciplines and beyond, with regular faculty members and visiting lecturers in a diverse range of specialties.
Scholarships are also on offer to both Australian Domestic and International students! To find out more, visit our Fees and Scholarships page.
|Head of Program (Humanistic Buddhism)||Venerable Dr Juewei|
|Course Duration||Full-time: 6 months; Part-time options available for domestic students only|
|Delivery Method||On-campus + supported online study|
Bachelor degree, or equivalent qualification, OR
relevant work experience in a Buddhist profession or workplace for at least three (3) years full-time or six (6) years part-time (demonstrated through the provision of a CV).
|English Language Requirements||Applicants who have undertaken studies overseas may have to provide proof of proficiency in English. Applicants who have not completed substantial tertiary studies in English will need to meet our English Language Requirements.|
|Pathway to further learning||Graduate Diploma in Applied Buddhist Studies
Master of Arts (Applied Buddhist Studies)
|Tuition Fees 2021#||Domestic $8,000#
*FEE-HELP available to eligible Australian citizens. For more information visit our Fees and Scholarships page.
Tuition fees, non-tuition fees, and refunds are governed by NTI’s Fees, Charges and Refunds Policy
|Non-Tuition Fees||More about non-tuition fees|
|CRICOS Course Code||097542A|
|CRICOS Provider Number||03233C|
# Indicative fee, assuming all electives are chosen within the Award program
The course can be completed in 1 semester of full-time study. Students can also spread their subjects over a longer period.
The Graduate Certificate in Humanistic Buddhism qualification requires the completion of 4 subjects (for a total of 24 credit points) as follows:
Please note: Not all electives are offered in each semester. You can check the timetable, or with the Student Services Office for scheduled subjects.
|HB901||Foundational Texts in Humanistic Buddhism|
|HB902||Principles of Professional Engagement|
2 elective subjects to be chosen from the table below:
|ABS901||Introduction to Buddhism|
|ABS920||Buddhism and Interreligious Understanding|
|ABS922||Buddhism and Modern Society|
|ABS933||Buddhist Art as Visual Communication|
|ABS923||Health as Buddhist Practice|
- Critically evaluate ideas related to the development and relevance of Humanistic Buddhism from historical, doxographical, socio-cultural, and educational perspectives.
- Analyse and synthesise knowledge based on humanistic values and apply them to creating solutions to contemporary real-world scenarios.
- Construct effective written and/or interpersonal communication to deliver knowledge of complex practices related to foundational themes of Humanistic Buddhism.
- Produce, employ and evaluate education materials to apply Humanistic Buddhism in a variety of contexts
- Develop projects and activities which demonstrate an understanding of a Buddhist mission which has application to contemporary real-world scenarios.
The Humanistic Buddhism course is relevant to:
Buddhist practitioners of any tradition interested in humanistic principles and values for self-development and in service to others
Educators interested in including Buddhist values and principles
Business professionals wishing to embed a culture of understanding, mindfulness and care within their organisations
Individuals working in multicultural and multi-faith communities who wish to include Buddhist values and principles
Principles of Professional Engagement
This subject provides student practitioners with advanced skill development and understanding of best practices in engaging the public and devotees. Building upon materials covered in previous aspects of the course, students will explore the effectiveness of a variety of communication and teaching strategies in multicultural and multi-faith communities.
A learning environment is provided from which students can analyse best practices, appraise competencies, and apply theory in the teaching and exercise of humanistic values and Buddhist wisdom in a contemplative and ethical manner. Topics covered include ethical engagement, teaching methodologies, contemplative learning strategies, religious promotion, and project management in both faith-based and secular communities. Guest lecturers will be invited to share best practices and facilitate learning activities.
Foundational Texts in Humanistic Buddhism
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.
Introduction to Buddhism
‘Introduction to Buddhism’ outlines and explores the fundamentals of Buddhist thought. Students examine ideas around the origin and development of Buddhism, key Buddhist doctrines, and the basic concepts of Buddhist philosophy across various traditions. The role of Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and practice in approaching morality and ethics, as well as contemporary developments in global Buddhism, is introduced and critically appraised. Students critically examine the meaning of life through Buddhist perspectives.
Buddhist Ethics provides an overview of Buddhist ethics in different traditions; it also examines issues arising from their application in the contemporary world. After outlining the framework of Buddhist ethics, a number of contemporary issues are reviewed and discussed using the lens of Buddhist ethical traditions: issues examined include the natural world (environment, animals, conservation), abortion, suicide, euthanasia, war, gender and sexuality, economics, social responsibility, etc.
Increasing individual ethical behaviour is at the heart of Buddhist traditions: understanding the nature of ethical choices and behaviours is also fundamental to a sound comprehension of Buddhism. This subject presents an introduction to the major areas of ethical consideration important in Buddhist teachings and then critically investigates a range of contemporary issues in order to highlight possible contributions from—or gaps in—traditional Buddhist paradigms and perspectives.
Buddhism and Interreligious Understanding
The subject focuses on a theory of religion, spirituality, and interfaith dialogue. Firstly, it presents secularisation processes and outlines the foundations of religious studies, it then proceeds with an examination of fundamental issues in the history and development of the major world religions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism from a comparative and interfaith perspective.
In the theoretical component the major methodological approaches will be presented and examined, and in the practical part readings of key texts, related to the subject outlined, will be discussed in the context of modern societal problems such as economic, political and gender issues, and approaches to conflict resolution and peace.
The subject outlines the main features of contemporary feminist philosophy of religion, drawing particularly from the works of Luce Irigaray. Additionally, the subject aims to investigate the role and future of religion and interfaith dialogue in our globalised world. Students will also explore how Buddhist perspectives could inform and contribute to contemporary interfaith dialogue.
Buddhism and Modern Society
The various schools of Buddhism teach systems of beliefs and practices based on the principles of change and interdependence.
This subject surveys how major Buddhist Schools today respond to contemporary issues and events around the world by adapting and reinterpreting the ancient doctrines to the modern world. This process is studied in both directions: how traditional Buddhist communities adapt to modernity and how Buddhist teachings are interpreted, reinvented or embraced.
The topics include Buddhist responses to globalisation, science and technology, economics, consumerism, workplace management, ethical leadership, bioethics, gender issues and environmental sustainability. This subject will provide an opportunity to discuss how Buddhists in East Asia, South Asia and the West can continue to grow the religion in the future.
Buddhist Art as Visual Communication
The aim of this subject is to teach the knowledge and interpretative skills necessary to fully engage with Buddhist material culture. The subject will be structured thematically across 4 days, with the fifth day for presentations during an excursion to the Art Gallery of NSW.
It will start with a brief assessment of Buddhism from the viewpoint of select contemporary Western writers, before presenting the evolution of the image of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni, including aniconic and synoptic representations. Other sessions will include an analysis of the characteristics and distinguishing qualities of diverse buddhas and bodhisattvas (with special attention to Avalokitesvara); symbols that convey the values and beliefs of Buddhism; the generation of merit through commissions; the visualisation of a deity; and the power of inscribed dharani and ‘seed’ syllables.
In this intensive course, there will be sessions devoted to the visual communication of Buddhist teachings, e.g., the Wheel of the Six Realms of Existence, the Pure Lands, and the mandala. Select teachers, such as the First Patriarch of Zen, Bodhidharma, and noted monks, lamas, and laymen, will be considered as well.
Naturalisation of Buddhism in China and Beyond
This subject provides a historical survey of the impact of Buddhism in Chinese culture, exploring its growth and transformation through significant people, doctrines, practices and institutions from the turn of the Common Era to the present.
It begins with the transmission of Buddhism from India to China and follows the development of a uniquely Chinese Buddhism after a period of initial conflict before integration with the local culture.
The second part of the subject uses Buddhist sacred sites as experiential windows to further explore major aspects of the Chinese Buddhist tradition and its interaction with Chinese literature, philosophy, art, architecture and indigenous religious practices.
This subject offers an insight into how Buddhism became one of the three pillars of traditional Chinese religions.
This subject is designed to prepare students to be successful in their postgraduate studies. The subject strengthens existing academic abilities and literacies, usually gained through undergraduate study, and introduces contemporary topics to help students develop critical thinking, research and communication skills. The subject includes an introduction to contemplative inquiry which underpins the postgraduate curriculum.
The subject will support students in their first session of postgraduate study; facilitate an understanding of the nature and structure of their degrees; provide resources and peer support to enhance academic and digital literacies needed for success in their degree.
Health as Buddhist Practice
In this subject, you will explore the meaning of health and illness and how different traditions – especially the Greek-origin European ‘science’ tradition, Indian-origin Buddhist understandings, and traditional Chinese medical approaches – conceive of and act on mind-body health and ill health.
The subject content will include the philosophy, history and political economy of health practices as they have developed within different cultural and environmental contexts. You will be introduced to a range of different medical approaches including indigenous Australian, Ayurveda and traditional Chinese as well as examining the reality of mainstream science-based medicine as it exists in Western societies.
You will be taught a range of practices that are said to influence health. You will be asked to adopt and critically examine the impact of one practice on your own health. How does your own experience compare to the reported expected outcomes and evidence base for this practice? What does the practice tell us about the ideas that are the implicit underpinnings of such a practice?
It is hoped that the mix of theoretical input and student experiences will allow us to explore health and illness in depth and in new ways.