Undergraduate Course: Buddhist Ethics (REST10058)
|School||School of Divinity
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course explores a selection of topics in Buddhist ethics, using a range of sources from historical contexts and contemporary debate. Themes include ecology, animal rights, human rights (including abortion, euthanasia, and issues of equality), war and peace, and economic ethics.
This course explores a selection of topics in Buddhist ethics, using a range of sources from historical contexts and contemporary debate. Themes include ecology and animal rights, human rights (including abortion, euthanasia, and issues of equality), war and peace, and economic ethics.
The course begins with an introductory discussion of the foundations of Buddhist ethics, including ideas such as karma and rebirth, and key Buddhist virtues and ideals. Ethical topics are then explored in turn, using a range of sources from a variety of Buddhist contexts, historical and contemporary.
Student Learning Experience Information
The course has two hours per week of class time, with students expected to engage in self-study for additional hours during each week. The first hour will normally be student-led discussion of readings from primary texts (in translation) and secondary sources, including ethnographic scholarship and writings of contemporary Buddhists. Students will be required to do a presentation on one of the readings, which counts for 10% of the course grade. The second hour is led by the lecturer, and comprises an introduction to, and discussion of, key themes and concepts that will enable full comprehension of the following week's readings. In addition to the assessed presentation, students must complete two essays, one mid-semester (2,500 words, 40%) and one during the exam period (3,000 words, 50%).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students are welcome.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
40% coursework essay (2,500 words);
50% final essay (3,000 words)
||Presentations during class will provide an opportunity for formative feedback (by email) and checking on comprehension and engagement. Students will also be invited to submit an essay plan for feedback.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Identify and analyse key concepts and ideals that feature in Buddhist discussions of ethics.
- Identify the major concerns and arguments in a range of ethical debates within Buddhist communities.
- Evaluate a range of Buddhist ethical debates in a balanced and scholarly manner.
- Draw on evidence from both primary and secondary sources in support of arguments.
- Produce a clearly structured, properly presented and well-evidenced argument in essay form.
Batholomeusz, Tessa J. In Defense of Dharma: Just-war ideology in Buddhist Sri Lanka (Routledge 2002)
Deegalle, Mahinda (ed.) Buddhism, Conflict and Violence in Modern Sri Lanka (Routledge 2006)
Harvey, Peter, An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics (CUP 2000)
Jerryson, Michael K. and Mark Juergensmeyer (eds) Buddhist Warfare (OUP 2010)
Keown, Damien, Buddhism and Bioethics (Macmillan 1995)
Keown, Damien (ed.), Buddhism and Abortion (Macmillan 1999)
Keown, Damien (ed.) Contemporary Buddhist Ethics (Routledge 2000)
Prebish, Charles (ed.) Buddhist Ethics: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (Kendall/Hunt 1992)
Sizemore, Russell F. and Donald K. Swearer (eds) Ethics, Wealth and Salvation: A Study in Buddhist Social Ethics (University of South Carolina Press, 1990)
Tucker, Mary Evelyn and Duncan Ryuken Williams (eds) Buddhism and Ecology: The Interconnection of Dharma and Deeds (Harvard University Press, 1997)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||This course particularly develops the following UoE Graduate Attributes:
- research and enquiry, in engaging with course readings and themes
- intellectual autonomy, in pursuing deeper engagement with selected topics
- personal effectiveness, especially in adapting to new situations with sensitivity and integrity
- communication, aural and written
|Course organiser||Dr Naomi Appleton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8976
|Course secretary||Mr Jamie Smith
Tel: (0131 6)50 8913