An exploration of the philosophies of India in their religious and cultural context. Hindu philosophies such as the Upanishads, Samkhya-Yoga, and the Vedanta of Shankara and Ramanuja are emphasized; for comparative purposes, Buddhism and Jainism are also examined.
An investigation of the fundamental paradoxes of religious belief. Questions to be considered will include the arguments for the existence of God, the problem of suffering and evil, the nature of mystical knowledge, and the rise of modern religious skepticism.
A study of selected classical and contemporary thinkers who see philosophy as intertwined with classical praxis. Emphasis will be on Buddhist thinkers such as Kukai, Dogen, Shinran, and Nishitani.
A study of selected classical and contemporary Tibetan thinkers who see philosophy as intertwined with religious praxis. The course focuses on the Vajrayana form of Mahayana Buddhism that is one central element in the culture of Tibet, as well as its Mahayana Buddhist background in India. Emphasis is on the central ideas of wisdom, compassion, emptiness, dependent arising, and the two truths in such thinkers as the Prajhaparamita, Nagarjuna, Candrakirti, and the Dalai Lama.