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Spring 2018 Religion UN3518 section 001

Call Number 71147
Day & Time
W 10:10am-12:00pm
101 80 Claremont Ave
Points 3
Approvals Required None
Instructor Andrew C Macomber
Course Description This seminar introduces students to the intersections between Buddhism and medicine in East Asia in the premodern period. The course begins with Buddhist ideas and practices concerning health and disease in ancient India over two millennia ago, and follows the eastward transmission of these concerns and activities into China, Korea, and Japan until roughly the 16th century. In addition to secondary studies representing the latest research in this burgeoning field, this course gives special attention to critical readings of shorter selections of primary sources translated into English, including sutras, monastic regulations, recipe collections, liturgical documents, and longevity manuals. Reading these selections through multiple methodological frameworks—social history, history of the body, and material culture, students will gain an appreciation of the rich diversity that characterized Buddhist healthcare practices before the introduction of Western medicine. A fundamental premise of this course is that different currents of Buddhism constituted medical cultures in their own right, a perspective that will help us to complicate conventional notions of both “religion” and “medicine.” We will aim to achieve a nuanced understanding of the ways that healing concerns shaped how monks and nuns related to actors of other therapeutic communities, and therefore emphasis is placed on the social and cultural contexts in which Buddhist medical practices were embedded. Students will thereby acquire a basic grounding in East Asian Buddhism to complement our particular concern with the dynamics of medical history. Previous coursework in Buddhism or East Asian religion is thus recommended but not required.
Web Site CourseWorks
Department Religion
Enrollment 7 students (15 max) as of 11:05PM Saturday, March 17, 2018
Subject Religion
Number UN3518
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Open To Barnard, Columbia College, Engineering and Applied Science: Undergraduate, General Studies
Campus Morningside
Section key 20181RELI3518W001

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