Friday, 17 April 2015

New University of Arizona Course in Buddhism



From UA News 
By La Monica Everett-Haynes

A Buddhist studies minor will be available starting in the fall, and it will draw from the University's existing expertise in religious studies, East Asian studies, Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, and South Asian religions.

In response to the increased adoption of traditions originating from Asia and to the expanding transcultural nature of the world, the University of Arizona is introducing an undergraduate minor focusing on Buddhism, which is practiced by hundreds of millions of people around the world.

The program is targeting students in a range of disciplines to provide them with a greater understanding of Buddhist societies, cultures and values. The minor will become available for the fall semester.

Given the recent rise of East Asian economies and markets, it will be even more critical that new-generation professionals are not merely trained in their home disciplines — whether that be business, law, sociology, journalism or otherwise — but that they also are better equipped to engage with Buddhists, said Albert Welter, head of the UA Department of East Asian Studies.

"Much, if not most, of the Asian world is Buddhist, or has Buddhist traditions, and Buddhism is a large component of the Asian value system regardless of the country you visit," said Welter, also the associate director of the School of International Languages, Literatures and Cultures. "We are here to inform people and to create knowledge and understanding about different traditions. Overall, the program is meant to help students appreciate different philosophical, ethical and spiritual approaches to knowledge..."  more

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