SRJC Course Outlines

6/13/2024 4:55:11 PMRELS 8 Course Outline as of Fall 2021

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  RELS 8Title:  BUDDHISM  
Full Title:  Buddhism
Last Reviewed:3/8/2021

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum3.00Lecture Scheduled3.0017.5 max.Lecture Scheduled52.50
Minimum3.00Lab Scheduled06 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total52.50
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  105.00Total Student Learning Hours: 157.50 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade or P/NP
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 

Catalog Description:
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This course is a historical introduction to the origins of Buddhism, the principal doctrines and teachings of the Buddha, and major themes in the development of Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana lineages through South and Southeast Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, and Japan.


Recommended Preparation:
Eligibility for ENGL 1A or equivalent or appropriate placement based on AB705 mandates

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
This course is a historical introduction to the origins of Buddhism, the principal doctrines and teachings of the Buddha, and major themes in the development of Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana lineages through South and Southeast Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, and Japan.
(Grade or P/NP)

Recommended:Eligibility for ENGL 1A or equivalent or appropriate placement based on AB705 mandates
Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:CSU;UC.
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Fall 2016
Global Perspective and Environmental Literacy
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 C2HumanitiesFall 2016
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
 3BHumanitiesFall 2016
CSU Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 2016Inactive:
UC Transfer:TransferableEffective:Fall 2016Inactive:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Major Applicable Course

Approval and Dates
Version:02Course Created/Approved: 4/13/2015
Version Created:2/3/2021Course Last Modified:7/18/2023
Submitter:Eric ThompsonCourse Last Full Review:3/8/2021
Version Status:Approved Changed CoursePrereq Created/Approved:3/8/2021
Version Status Date:3/8/2021Semester Last Taught:Spring 2022
Version Term Effective:Fall 2021Term Inactive:


Student Learning Outcomes:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
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1. Critique and contextualize historical approaches to the study of Buddhism.
2. Explain the historical Buddha's major teachings.
3. Explain distinctions in the beliefs and practices of Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Buddhism within their respective socio-historical contexts.
4. Name major themes and sectarian associations of various sutras and other literature in Buddhist traditions.

Objectives: Untitled document
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
1. Articulate key events in the life of the historical Buddha.
2. Express several tenets of early Buddhist philosophy as taught in the Pali Suttas.
3. Articulate several differences between Theravada & Mahayana doctrine.
4. Delineate some of the major teachings in the Mahayana sutras.
5. Explain unique features of Vajrayana Buddhism, especially its expression in Tibetan
6. Describe several difficulties associated with labeling Buddhism as a religion.
7. Explain aspects of Chan/Zen doctrine in contrast to other Mahayana lineages.

Topics and Scope
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I. Historical Buddha
    A. Life of Siddhartha Gautama
     B. India at the time of the Buddha
II. Early Buddhist Teachings
     A. Four Noble Truths, eight--fold path
     B. Anatman doctrine, karma and samsara, Pañcaskandha doctrine
     C. Buddhist view of mind and emotions; centrality of meditation
III. Early Buddhist Texts
     A. Dhammapada
    B. Pali Canon/Tripitaka
         1. Sutta Pitaka: Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, Anatta-lakkhana Sutta, Adittapariyaya
               Sutta, Kalama Sutta
         2. Vinaya Pitaka
          3. Abhidhamma Pitaka: commentaries of Buddhaghosa and Vasubandhu
         4. Jataka tales
IV. Spread of Theravada Buddhist traditions; Ashoka
V.  New Developments in Mahayana doctrine
     A. Wisdom and compassion, Bodhisattva vow
    B. Six paramitas
     C. Yogacara vs. Madhyamika
     D. Asanga and Vasubandhu; Nagarjuna
VI. Spread of Mahayana Buddhism in China
     A. T'ien Tai
     B. Pureland
     C. Chan traditions: Northern vs. Southern Schools, 6th patriarch Hui Neng
VII. Mahayana Sutras
     A. Avatamsaka (Flower Garland) Sutra
     B. Lankavatara Sutra
     C. Lotus Sutra
     D. Diamond Sutra, Prajnaparamita (Heart) Sutra, Platform Sutra
     E. Vimalakirti Sutra
VIII. Vajrayana Buddhism in China & Tibet
IX.   Influence of Tantric practices in Vajrayana Buddhism
X.    Tibetan Buddhism
    A. Gelugpa, Karma Kagyupa, Nyingmapa, Sakyapa lineages
    B. Influence of Tibet's native Bön tradition on Tibetan Buddhism
XI.  Son Buddhism of Korea
XII. Major Schools of Japanese Buddhism
    A. Tendai, Saicho
     B. Shingon, Kobodaishi
    C. Shinshu, Honen; JodoShinshu, Shinran
     D. Nichiren, SokaGakkai
     E. Rinzai and Soto Zen; Eisai and Dogen Zenji
XIII. Theravada-Mahayana Syncretism in Sri Lanka
XIV. Socially-engaged Buddhism: Thich Nhat Hanh, the Order of Interbeing in Vietnam
XV.  Spread of Buddhism in Europe and the U.S.

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1. Weekly readings from various textual materials (approximately 30-50 pages per week).
2. Quizzes, including 5-12 reading quizzes (multiple choice, true/false, short answer, completion,
3. In-class discussion and group work covering assigned readings and lecture topics
4. Final examination and 1-3 midterm examination(s) ( multiple choice, short answer, and essay
5. One to two research paper(s) of 3-6 pages in length
Other assignments may include:
1. Visits to local meditation centers, temples, and/or museums, followed by a written report
2. Summary-response reports on films recommended by instructor
3. Research project on a specific category of Buddhist doctrine or practice, a text situated with a
    particular socio-historical context, a historical event or series of events with significance to
    the shaping of a particular Buddhist tradition
4. Brief critical analysis response papers on Buddhism concepts, ideas, and/or approaches to
    studying Buddhism

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
25 - 35%
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
0 - 0%
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
0 - 0%
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
40 - 65%
Quizzes, midterm exam(s), final exam
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
10 - 25%
Class participation, in class activities, and/or written reports on field trips and/or films

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life. Santideva. Snow Lion. 1997 (classic)
Buddhism: Introducing the Buddhist Experience. 3rd ed. Mitchell, Donald and Jacoby, Sarah. Oxford University Press. 2013 (classic)
Buddhism: the Illustrated Guide. Trainor, Kevin, ed. Oxford University Press. 2004 (classic)
Dhammapada (online)
Mahayana Sutras listed in 'Topics & Scope' (online)
Nagarjuna's Letter to a Friend, w/commentary. Rinpoche, Kangyur. Snow Lion. 2005 (classic)
Pali Canon: Suttas listed in 'Topics & Scope', Vinaya, and Abhidhamma commentaries (online)
Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Rinpoche, Sogya. Harper San Francisco. 2012 (classic)
What the Buddha Taught. Walpola, Rahula. Grove Press. 1974 (classic)
Buddhism in Practice. Lopez, Donald. Princeton University Press. 2007 (classic)
Shingon Refractions: Myoe and the Mantra of Light. Unno, Mark. Wisdom Publications. 1997 (classic)
Early Buddhist Teachings. Karunadasa, Y. Wisdom Publications. 2018
Indian Esoteric Buddhism: A Social History of the Tantric Movement. Davidson, Ronald. Columbia University Press. 2002 (classic)
The Mystique of Transmission: On An Early Chan History and its Contexts. Adamek, Wendi L. Columbia University Press. 2007 (classic)
Nagarjuna in Context: Mahayana Buddhism and Early Indian Culture. Walser, Joseph. Columbia University Press. 2005 (classic)
BUDDHAPADA Following the Buddha's Footprints. de Guerny, Jacques. Orchid Press. 2013 (classic)
Tibetan Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction. Kapstein, Matthew. Oxford University Press. 2013 (classic)
The Gateless Gate: The Classic Book of Zen Koans. Koun, Yamada. Wisdom Publications. 2004 (classic)


Student Preparation
 Matric Assessment Required:ERequires English Assessment
 Prerequisites-generate description:NPNo Prerequisite
 Advisories-generate description:AAuto-Generated Text
 Prereq/coreq-registration check:NNo Prerequisite Rules Exist
 Requires instructor signature:NInstructor's Signature Not Required
 Method of instruction:02Lecture
 Area department:HUMANHumanities and Religion
 Division:71Language Arts & Academic Foundations
 Special topic course:NNot a Special Topic Course
 Program Status:1Major Applicable Course
 Repeatability:00Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
 Repeat group id:  
 Audit allowed:NNot Auditable
 Open entry/exit:NNot Open Entry/Open Exit
 Credit by Exam:NCredit by examination not allowed
 Budget code: Program:0000Unrestricted
 Budget code: Activity:4905Humanities & Fine Arts
Religious Studies
 Basic Skills:NNot a Basic Skills Course
 Level below transfer:YNot Applicable
 CVU/CVC status:NNot Distance Ed
 Distance Ed Approved:N
 Emergency Distance Ed Approved:YFully Online
Partially Online
Online with flexible in-person activities
 Credit for Prior Learning:NAgency Exam
NIndustry Credentials
 Non-credit category:YNot Applicable, Credit Course
 Classification:YLiberal Arts and Sciences Courses
 SAM classification:ENon-Occupational
 TOP code:1510.00Religious Studies
 Work-based learning:NDoes Not Include Work-Based Learning
 DSPS course:NNO
 In-service:NNot an in-Service Course

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