Buddhism in the Time of the Buddha
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Osher (50+). This course explores the origins of Buddhism.
About this course:
This course introduces Buddhism, from its inception in Vedic India to the period immediately following the historical Buddha (1st millennium BCE), which lays the foundation for all Buddhist traditions, from Theravda and Zen to Tantric. Scholars have referred to this period of pre-sectarian Buddhism as original, classical, Hnayna/Lesser Vehicle, and mainstream Buddhism. We examine the cultural framework which informed and was transformed by Buddhism; critically analyze the worldview and doctrinal paradigms of the Dharma/Buddha’s teachings; and consider the development, lifestyle, rules, and practices of the emergent Buddhist community. This overview is supplemented with early Buddhist art, the meanings of key terminology (e.g., karma, nirvana), and stories of select historical and imagined contributing figures.