Buddhist Perspectives on Nature

This course is being taught at Mangalam Research Center. Registration here.

June 16-23, July 7-28, Wednesdays, 9-10:30am Pacific Time on Zoom; and in person outdoors in Berkeley  (Tuesdays 5-6:30pm, starting June 15).

This course introduces a variety of Buddhist perspectives on the natural world, drawing on philosophical presentations in classical Buddhist texts as well as modern ecological interpretations, and historical and ethnographic studies of Buddhist cultures. Throughout the course, we will explore how these perspectives relate to core Buddhist doctrines as well as how they challenge common modern assumptions and categories (such as “man” vs. “nature”), and present alternative ways of relating to the more than human world in this moment of climate and ecological crisis.

Structure of course: Each week students will receive a narrative overview of the topic as well as recommended readings. Some weeks may include additional video/audio lecture content. As meetings will be primarily devoted to discussion, students are strongly encouraged to review class materials ahead of the Zoom meeting.

Prerequisites: Students new to Buddhism or the academic study of Buddhism are encouraged to study Rupert Gethin’s Foundations of Buddhism prior to the start of the course.)