Fall 2011

Buddhist Life Writing

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-252  |  Religion, as RELI-252


Maria R. Heim (Section 01)


(Offered as RELI 252 and ASLC 252) From the biographies of Gotama Buddha to the autobiographies of western converts, life writing plays a central role in teaching Buddhist philosophy, practice, history, and myth. This course explores the diverse forms and purposes of Buddhist life writing in the literary and visual cultures of India, Tibet, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam, Japan, and America. Reading the lives of eminent saints and laypersons, charismatic teachers, recluses, and political activists, the course aims to broaden understanding of how Buddhists have variously imagined the ideal life. We will pay particular attention to how literary and cultural conventions of genre guide the composition of lives.

Fall semester.  Professor M. Heim


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Spring 2014, Spring 2018