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260-342

THERAVâDA BUDDHIST LITERATURE

Theravàda Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand

Course Description and Syllabus
Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University
Winter 1999-2000
Tuesday and Thursday 1:00-2:00 Room 203

Instructor: Dr. Mahinda Deegalle
E-mail: mdeegalle@leacock.lan.mcgill.ca
Phone: 398-7357
Office Hours: Thursdays 3:45-5:30
Office: Birks 018

AIMS OF THE COURSE

This course introduces students to a variety of religious expressions in Theravàda. While focusing on Buddhism in Sri Lanka, historical, doctrinal and soteriological continuity of Theravàda will be traced in Southeast Asian forms of Buddhism. To see the way philosophical and doctrinal understandings shape Buddhist lives, daily activities of Buddhist monastics and lay people will become the focus of this examination. Though priority will be given to the study of Theravàda Buddhism in Sri Lanka, to broaden students' understanding of Theravàda comparisions will be drawn from Southeast Asian Buddhist traditions. Visual aids such as slides and films will be utilized to enhance students' experience and study.

REQUIRED TEXTS

  • Richard F. Gombrich, Theravàda Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo (London and New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1988).
  • A source book will be available for purchase at McGill University Bookstore.
ON RESERVE AT BIRKS READING ROOM

* Michael Carrithers, ßThe Modern Ascetics of Lanka and the Pattern of Change in Buddhism,û Man 14(1979):294-310.
* Kyaw Dun, ßBurmese Funeral Rites,û Journal of the Burmese Research Society 7(1917):85-8.
* L. de la Vallée Poussin, ßDeath and Disposal of the Dead: Buddhist,û 
in Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. James Hastings (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1908-22), 4:446-49.
* S.K. Nanayakkara, ßThe Disposal of the Dead,û in Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, ed. Jotiya Dhirasekera (Colombo: The Government of Ceylon, 1984), 4:329-31.* P.D. Preamasiri, ßTreatment of Minorities in the Buddhist Doctrine,Ethnic studies Report 3(2) 1985: 57-71.
* P.D. Preamasiri, ßThe Buddhist Analysis of the Nature of Social Conflict,û Ceylon Studies Seminar 1986, Series No. 6, Serial No. 110, pp. 1-13.
* P.D. Premasiri, ßBuddhist Approach to Contemporary Moral Issues,û (unpublished paper), 11 pages.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

*Attendance to all lectures and active participation in class discussions: 10%
4 quizzes: 16%
*Midterm examination: 24%
*Two reaction papers (each approximately 250-300 words) should be written raising an important question with regard to two selected required readings. For the first reaction paper (due on February 8), students should select one reading from the assigned readings for January 27 and February 1. While the second reaction paper is due on March 14, students should choose one of the readings assigned for February 29 and March 9: 10%
* A research paper of approximately 2000 words should be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on March 30, 2000. For the research paper, an appropriate research topic should be selected in consultation with the instructor by February 10, 2000. After consultation, a research proposal (outlining the thesis and methodology with approximately 300 words) with bibliography should be submitted by February 17, 2000: 40%

SCHEDULE

January 4 Theravàda Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia

January 6 Buddhism in India

Film: ßWisdom of Faith: Hinduism and Buddhismû (58 m)

Color with black and white, 1996

Films for the Humanities, Princeton

Luis O. Gomez, ßBuddhism in India,û in Buddhism in Asian History, eds. Joseph M. Kitagawa and Mark D. Cummings (New York: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1989), pp. 51-104.

January 11 Buddhism as a Pan-Asian Civilizational Religion

Film: ßBuddhism: The Path to Enlightenmentû (30m)

Hartely Film Production, 1978

Frank E. Reynolds and Charles Hallisey, ßBuddhist Religion, Culture and Civilization,û in Buddhism in Asian History, eds. Joseph M. Kitagawa and Mark D. Cummings (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1989), pp. 3-28.

January 13 Theravàda Buddhism in Sri Lanka

Film: ßFootprint of the Buddhaû (54 m)

Color, 16mm, 1977

BBC Long Search Series, Producer: Peter Montagnon; Buddhism in Sri Lanka narrated by Ronald Eyre. Focuses on monastic life and interaction between monk and laity.

Richard F. Gombrich, ßIntroduction,û in Theravàda Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo (London and New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1988), pp. 1-31.

January 18 Monastic Community

Richard F. Gombrich, ßThe Sangha's Discipline,û in Theravàda Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo (London and New York: Routledge &Kegan Paul, 1988), pp. 87-117.

Mahinda Deegalle, ßMonasticism, Definitions of: Buddhist Prespectives,û in Encyclopedia of Monasticism, ed. William Johnston (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publshers, 2000).

January 20 Monastic Tradition

Richard F. Gombrich, ßThe Buddhist Tradition in Sri Lanka,û in Theravàda Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo (London and New York: Routledge &Kegan Paul, 1988), pp. 137-171.

    • Quiz 1
January 25 Theravàda Written Literature: The Pàli Canon and Commentaries

E.W. Adikaram, Early History of Buddhism in Ceylon (Colombo: M.D. Gunasena, 1953), pp. 1-9, 33-42, 73-79.

January 27 Vernacular Buddhism: Sinhala Buddhist Literature

Mahinda Deegalle, ßVernacular Buddhism: Neglected Sources in the Study of Sri Lankan Theravàda,û Journal of the Japanese Association for South Asian Studies 9(1977):69-101.

Mahinda Deegalle, ßNoviyat Hudãjana: Local Consciousness within Disappearing Cosmopolitan Buddhism,û in The 150th Anniversary of Vidyodaya Pirivena (Colombo: Vidyodaya Pirivena, 1999), 26 pages.

February 1 Buddhist Preaching

Mahinda Deegalle, ßBuddhist Preaching and Sinhala Religious Rhetoric: Medieval Buddhist Methods to Popularize Theravàda,û Numen 44(1997):180-210.

Mahinda Deegalle, ßReconsidering Buddhist Preaching: Baõa Tradition in Sri Lanka,û in Recent Researches in Buddhist Studies: Essays in Honour of Professor Y. Karunadasa, eds. K. Dhammajoti, Asanga Tilakaratne and Kapila Abhayawansa (Colombo and Hong Kong: Y. Karunadasa Felicitation Committee and Chi Ying Foundation, 1997), pp. 427-53.

Mahinda Deegalle, ßMarathon Preachers: The Two-pulpit Tradition in Sri Lanka,û Asiatische Studien: ‚tudes Asiatiques 52(I) 1998: 15-56.

February 3 The Expansion of Mahàvihàra: The Case of Southeast Asia

W.M. Sirisena, Sri Lanka and South-east Asia: Political, Religious and Cultural Relations from A.D. c. 1000 to c. 1500 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1978), pp. 58-81.

Mangala Ilangasinha, ßThe Influence of the Mahàvihàra on South-east Asian Buddhism,û Sri Lanka Journal of Buddhist Studies 1(1987): 171-86. 

    • Quiz
February 8 Buddhism in Burma

Dnald K. Swearer, ßBuddhism in Southeast Asia,û in Buddhism in Asian History, eds. Joseph M. Kitagawa and Mark D. Cummings (New York: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1989), pp. 107-29.

Heinz Bechert, ßTo be a Burmese is to be a Buddhist: Buddhism in Burma,û in Buddhist Monks and Nuns in Society and Culture (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1984), pp. 147-158.

    • First reaction paper is due in class
    • Last day to consult the instructor on the topic of the research paper
February 10 Buddhism in Thailand

Yoneo Ishii, ßThe Sangha and Society,û in Sangha, State and Society: Thai Buddhism in History (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986), pp. 3-33.

February 15 Buddhism in Cambodia and Laos

Film: ßCulture and Enterprise in Laosû

McGill University Instructional Communications Center

Frank E. Reynolds, ßRitual and Social Hierarchy: An Aspect of Traditional Religion in Buddhist Laos,û in Bardwell L. Smith (ed.), Religion and Legitimation of Power in Thailand, Laos, and Burma (Chambersburg, P.A.: Anima Books, 1978), pp. 166-174.

Jane Bunnag, ßThe Way of the Monk and the Way of the World: Buddhism in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia,û in Heinz Bechert and Richard Gombrich (eds.), The World of Buddhism: Buddhist Monks and Nuns in Society and Culture (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 1984), pp. 159-170.

February 17 Mid-term Examination 

Research proposal is due at 5:00 P.M

February 21-25 Winter Study Break

February 29 Mahayana in Sri Lanka

Mahinda Deegale, ßBuddha's Rock: Mahayana Legacy at Buduruvagala,û Journal of Pàli and Buddhist Studies 12(1998):103-15.

Mahinda Deegalle, ßMahayana Ideas within Theravàda?û Buddhist Studies (Bukkyº Kenkyå) 27(1998): 97-116.

Mahinda Deegalle, ûA Search for Mahayana in Sri Lanka,û Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 22 (2)1999: 343-57.

March 2 Mahayana Tendencies in Southeast Asia

Melford E. Spiro, ßApotropaic Buddhism: A Religion of Magical Protectionû and ßEsoteric Buddhism: A Religion of Chiliastic Expectations,û in Buddhism and Society: Great Tradition and Its Burmese Vicissitudes (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press 1982), pp. 140-187.

March 7 Mahayana in Theravàda Societies in South and 

Southeast Asia

Padmanabh S. Jaini, ßMahàdibbamanta: A Paritta Manuscript from Cambodia,û Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 28 (1965): 61-65.

Roger R. Jackson, ßA Tantric Echo in Sinhalese Theravàda: Pirit Ritual, the Book of Paritta and the Jinapa¤jaraya,û Dhih: Journal of Rare Buddhist Texts Research Project 18(1994): 121-40.

John S. Strong, ßMagical Rites: The Chanting of Piritû and ßMeditational Endevors: A Theravadin Tantric Pilgrimage,û in The Experience of Buddhism: Sources and Interpretations (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1995), pp. 234-240.

March 9 Ascetic Ideal in Buddhist Practice

Michael Carrithers, ßThe modern Ascetics of Lanka and the Pattern of Change in Buddhism,û Man 14(1979):294-310.

Reginald A. Ray, ûAscetic Traditions of Buddhist Saints,û in Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and Orientations (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 293-323.

Mahinda Deegalle, ßAsceticism: Buddhist Perspectivesû and Marathon Monksû in Encyclopedia of Monasticism, ed. William Johnston (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2000), 11 pages.

    • Quiz 3
March 14 Buddhist Meditation

Film: ßDoing Time, doing Vipassanaû (52m)

Walpola Rahula, ßMeditation or Mental Culture: Bhàvanàû and ßSatipaññhàna Sutta (The Foundations of Mindfulness),û in What the Buddha Taught (New York: Grove Press, 1974), pp. 67-75.

Karaõãyametta Sutta (Loving-kindness), in The Group of Discourses (Suttanipàta), trans. K.R. Norman (London: TS, 1984), pp. 24-5.

    • Second reaction paper is due in class
March 16 Buddhist Narratives: Vessantara

Margaret Cone and Richard F. Gombrich, ßIntroduction,û inThe Perfect Generosity of Prince Vessantara (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977), pp. xv-xlvii.

John S. Strong, ßThe Last Past Life: The Story of Vessantara,û in The Experience of Buddhism: Sources an Interpretations (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1995), pp. 23-26.

March 21 Life-cycle Rituals: Buddhist Marriage

Richard F. Gombrich and Gananath Obeyesekere, ßBuddhist 

Marriage,û in Buddhism Transofrmed: Religious Change 

in Sri Lanka (Princeton, NY: Princeton University Press, 

1988), pp. 255-273.

Donald K. Swearer, ßWeddings and Aging Ceremonies,û in 

The Buddhist World of Sourtheast Asia (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1995), pp. 52-56.

Mahinda Deegalle, ßThe Poem of Auspicious Victory: The Jayamaïngala Gàthà as a Buddhist Marriage Liturgical Text,û Buddhist Literature, forthcoming, 6 pages.

March 23 Death Rituals

Film: ßThe Tibetan Book of the Deadû (92m)

National Film Board of Canada, 1994

Kyaw Dun, ßBurmese Funeral Rites,û Journal of the Burmese Research Society 7(1917): 85-8.

L. De La Vall‚e Poussin, ßDeath and Disposal of the Dead: Buddhist,û in Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. James Hastings (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908-22), 4:446-49.

S.K. Nanayakkara, ßThe Disposal of the Dead,û in Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, ed. Jotiya Dhirasekera (Colombo: The Government of Ceylon, 1984), 4: 329-31.

Donald K. Swearer, ßFuneral Rites,û in The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1995), pp. 56-61.

Mahinda Deegalle, ßDeath Rituals: Buddhistû in Encyclopedia of Monasticism, ed. William Johnston (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2000), 6 pages.

    • Quiz 4
March 28 Women in Theravàda

H.R. Perera, ßBhikkhunãEncyclopaedia of Buddhism, ed. G.P. Malalasekera (Colombo: The Government of Ceylon, 1971), 3:43-47.

Nancy J. Barns, ßBuddhist Women and the Nuns' Order in Asia,û in Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia, eds. Christopher S. Queen and Sallie B. King (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996), pp. 259-294.

March 30 Theravàda Buddhism and Social Issues

P.D. Preamasiri, ßTreatment of Minorities in the Buddhist Doctrine,û Ethnic Studies Report 3(2)1985: 57-71.

P.D. Preamasiri, ßThe Buddhist Analysis of the Nature of Social Conflict,û Ceylon Studies Seminar 1986, Series No. 6, Serial No. 110, pp. 1-13.

P.D. Premasiri, ßBuddhist Approach to Contemporary Moral Issues,û (unpublished paper), 11 pages.

    • Research paper is due at 5:00 P.M.
April 4 Engaged Buddhism and Buddhist Social Action

Richard F. Gombrich and Gananath Obeyesekere, ßA Buddhist Model of Development?,û in Buddhism Transformed: Religious Change in Sri Lanka (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988), pp. 243-55.

George D. Bond, ßA.T. Ariyaratne and the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka,û in Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia, eds. Christopher S. Queen and Sallie B. King (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996), pp. 121-146.

April 6 Concluding Session: Theravàda Buddhism in Diaspora

Penny Van Esterik, ßCreating Wat Lao,û in Taking Refuge: Lao Buddhists in North America (Arizona: Southeast Asian Studies Program, Arizona State University, 1992), pp. 55-90.
 
 
 

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