REL 252
Zen Buddhist Visual Culture: The Path to Nirvana Spring 2019 Division II; Writing-Intensive; Cross-listed as ARTH376 / REL252 / ASST376

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This course is about the ways in which images are produced, viewed, and used in the Zen Buddhist tradition. It explores the various ways in which visual culture is a key part of Zen Buddhist teaching in China and Japan. In this class we will look at both high art and popular expressions of Zen Buddhist visual culture. Topics of interest include: 1) Buddhist image making and icon worship; 2) Gardens; 3) tearooms, tea ceremony and tea bowls; 4) The Zen temples Ryoan-ji, Daisen-in, and Daitoku-ji; 5) The political function of Zen and its art in Japan’s samurai culture; 6) The popular Zen Buddhist cult of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and his gender transformation; and 7) Daruma (Bodhidharma) imagery in popular culture. This course is a CRAAS (critical reasoning and analytical skills) course. The class format also offers students opportunities to practice public speaking and writing skills.
The Class: Type: lecture/class discussion
Limit: 10
Expected: 8
Class#: 3058
Requirements/Evaluation: class discussions and participation; oral presentations, short papers; and a research paper
Enrollment Preference: sophomores, juniors and seniors
Distributions: Division II; Writing-Intensive;
Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ARTH or ASST; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under REL
Attributes: ARTH pre-1600 Courses;

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