Five College Consortium

Buddhist Life Writing

Subject Name: 
Asian Languages & Civilization
Course Number: 
Amherst College

(Offered as RELI 252, ASLC 252, and ENGL 302) From the biographies of Gotama Buddha to the autobiographies of western converts, life writing plays a central role in teaching Buddhist philosophy, practice, history, and myth. This course explores the diverse forms and purposes of Buddhist life writing in the literary and visual cultures of India, Tibet, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam, Japan, and America. Reading the lives of eminent saints and laypersons, charismatic teachers, recluses, and political activists, the course aims to broaden understanding of how Buddhists have variously imagined the ideal life. We will pay particular attention to how literary and cultural conventions of genre guide the composition of lives.

Spring semester.  Professor M. Heim.

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Crosslisted Section ID: 
Schedule #: 

Course Sections

Buddhist Life Writing
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Maria Heim TTH 01:00PM-02:20PM CHAP 119