Teaching Buddhism in the West: From the Wheel to the Web

Overview

At a time when the popularity of Buddhism is at a peak in the west, both inside and outside the university setting, scholars and students alike are searching for guidance: How should Buddhism, a religion which is ultimately 'foreign' to western experience, be taught? How should one teach central Buddhist doctrines and ideas? Should one teach Buddhist practise; if so how? Until now, those interested in these and other related matters have been left with little guidance. Despite the wealth of scholarly publications...

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Overview

At a time when the popularity of Buddhism is at a peak in the west, both inside and outside the university setting, scholars and students alike are searching for guidance: How should Buddhism, a religion which is ultimately 'foreign' to western experience, be taught? How should one teach central Buddhist doctrines and ideas? Should one teach Buddhist practise; if so how? Until now, those interested in these and other related matters have been left with little guidance. Despite the wealth of scholarly publications on Buddhist traditions and the plethora of books about meditation and enlightenment, a serious lacuna exists in the sphere of teaching Buddhism.
This book fills this lacuna, by providing a series of thematically arranged articles written by contemporary scholars of Buddhism throughout North America. Some of the major themes covered are the history of teaching Buddhism in Europe and North America (Reynolds, Prebish), the problem of representations of Buddhism in undergraduate teaching (Lewis), the problem of crossing cultural and historical divides (Jenkins), the place of the body and mind in the Buddhist classroom (Waterhouse), alternative pedagogical methods in teaching Buddhism (Wotypka, Jarow, Hori, Grimes) and the use of the Internet as a resource, and metaphor for teaching Buddhism (Fenn, Grieder).

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
List of Contributors
Teaching Buddhism: Past and Present
Teaching Buddhism in the Postmodern University: Understanding, Critique, Evaluation 3
Buddhist Studies in the Academy: History and Analysis 17
What is "Buddhism"?
Representations of Buddhism in Undergraduate Teaching: The Centrality of Ritual and Story Narratives 39
Moving Beyond the 'ism': A Critique of the Objective Approach to Teaching Buddhism 57
Cultural Divides
Black Ships, Blavatsky, and the Pizza Effect: Critical Self-Consciousness as a Thematic Foundation for Courses in Buddhist Studies 71
An End-run round Entities: Using Scientific Analogies to Teach Basic Buddhist Concepts 84
Skillful Means
Engaging Buddhism: Creative Tasks and Student Participation 95
The Peripatetic Class: Buddhist Traditions and Myths of Pedagogy 107
Buddha Body, Buddha Mind
Buddhism and the Teaching of Judo 119
Introducing Buddhism in a Course on Postmodernism 141
Zen in the Classroom
Zen and the Art of Not Teaching Zen and the Arts: An Autopsy 155
Liberal Education and the Teaching of Buddhism 170
The Wheel Comes to the Web
Teaching Buddhism by Distance Education: Traditional and Web-based Approaches 197
Academic Buddhology and the Cyber-Sangha: Researching and Teaching Buddhism on the Web 212
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