Zen Buddhism (EM)

Subject associations
REL 280 / EAS 281
Spring 2020
Bryan D. Lowe
Registrar description

Are Zen and other religions stable entities with identifiable essences? Or do they lack a core, gradually vanishing as each layer is peeled away? Do they take on different forms in relation to cultural and power configurations? Or can they themselves shape social and political structures? In order to understand these questions and ask better ones, we will examine Zen in diverse contexts, including China, Japan, Korea, Germany, and the United States, to consider the tensions between romanticized ideals and practice on the ground. We will grapple with studying complex religious traditions with complicated and sometimes troubling histories.