Course Summary

A survey of the history of Buddhism, including beliefs, practices, and scriptures, along with a comparison to basic Christian ideals

The course is organized in three modules: (1) The History of Buddhism, (2) Buddhism: Belief and Practice, and (3) Sacred Writings. 3 semester hours of graduate credit.


• Summarize the general history of Buddhism and its spread.

• Evaluate the spiritual, socio-historical, and ethnocentric dimensions involved in the development of Buddhism

• Evaluate the sources involved in the study of Buddhism 

• Assess key issues essential to understanding the distinctions between Buddhism and Christianity

• Compare and contrast the sacred scriptures and specific concepts of Buddhism and Christianity.

Credit is requires a 70 percent score on three multiple choice exams and an essay exam.  Each is valued at 25 percent of the final grade.  A sample multiple choice exam problem is given below.

Buddhism originated in (A) China, (B) India, (C) Indonesia, (D) Japan.


Amply e-books are available in the Electronic Collection without cost to the student.  However, if hard copies are preferred, the following are recommended.

Conze, Edward. 
Buddhist Scriptures. Penguin Classics. Reprint ed. Viking Press, 1959. 296 pages. $11.19
        ISBN: 978-0140440881
        [The book by Lopez listed in Extended Resources is recommended for more breath.]

Harvey, Peter. An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge University Press, 2012.
        547 pages. $29.98 ISBN: 978-0521313339

Reat, Noble Ross. Buddhism: A History. Asian Humanities Press, 1994. 392 pages. $48.99. ISBN: 978-0875730028