Mbs course Outline 13-14 (Updated on November 28, 2013) Centre of Buddhist Studies

BSTC6012 Japanese Buddhism: history and doctrines


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Japanese Buddhism: history and doctrines


Prof. T. Endo

Tel: 3917-5080

Email: tendo@hku.hk

Schedule: 2nd Semester; Thursday 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Class Venue: CPD-LG.08, LG/F, Centennial Campus
Course Description
This course introduces students to the history, teachings, practice, and institutional realities of Japanese Buddhism. The course will focus its special attention on the introduction of Buddhism to Japan, Prince Shotoku’s contribution to its spread, the Taika Reforms, the Nara Buddhism, its formation and further development in the Heian and Kamakura periods, its transformation in the Edo period, its encounter with modernity in the Meiji period, and recent developments within Japanese Buddhism since the end of World War II. The founders of different schools of Buddhist thought such as Saicho, Kukai, Honen, Shinran, Eisai, Dogen, Nichiren and others together with their main teachings are also examined. The course will further examine the Buddhist impact upon the ways of thinking of the Japanese people with a view to understanding Japan and her culture.
Course Outline

Lecture 1: Introduction of Buddhism to Japan.

Lecture 2: Prince Shotoku and His Contribution to the Spread of Buddhism; Taika Reforms; Six Schools of Nara Buddhism.

Lecture 3: Heian Buddhism: Tendai and Shingon Schools.

Lecture 4: ‘Mappo Theory’ (Degeneration of the True Dharma) and the rise of Pure Land Buddhism: Honen and Shinran.

Lecture 5: Zen Buddhism: History and Doctrine.

Lecture 6: Zen Buddhism: Soto and Rinzai.

Lecture 7: Kamakura Buddhism and Nichiren School.
Lecture 8: Buddhism in the Edo and Meiji Periods.

Lecture 9: ‘New Religions’ after the Meiji Period; Buddhist Practices of different Schools.

Lecture 10: Buddhism and ways of thinking of the Japanese people.
Lecture 11: Buddhist Impact on Japanese Culture.

Lecture 12: Buddhism in modern times, summary and conclusion.

1 short essay (1500 words): 30 %
1 long essay (3000 words): 60 %

Attendance: 10 %

Reference Books
1. Japanese Buddhism: A Cultural History by Yoshiro Tamura Kosei Publishing Company, Tokyo, 2001

2. Shapers of Japanese Buddhism by Yusen Kashiwahara & Koyu Sonoda

Kosei Publishing Company, Tokyo, 1994

3. Foundation of Japanese Buddhism, Vol. 1, by Daigan Matsunaga & Alicia Matsunaga Buddhist Books International, LA, USA, 1978

4. Foundation of Japanese Buddhism, Vol. 2, by Alicia Matsunaga & Daigan Matsunaga Buddhist Books International, LA, USA, 1984

5. Religions of Japan in Practice by George J., Jr. Tanabe (Editor), Princeton University Press, 1999

6.Saicho: The Establishment of the Japanese Tendai School by Paul Groner, Po Chin Chai, Seoul, 1984.

7. Rediscovering Rikyu and the Beginning of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, by Herbert Plustschow, Global Oriental, 2003.

8. Zen Buddhis: A History (Japan), Vol. II, by Heinrich Dumoulin, tr by James W. Heisig and Paul Knitter, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1988

9. An Itroduction to Zen Buddhism, by D.T.Suzuki, Eastern Buddhist Society, 1934

10. Zen Buddhism and Japanese Culture by D.T.Suzuki,

11. The Other Side of Zen: A Social History of Soto Zen: Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan, by Duncan Ryuken Williams, Princeton University Press, 2005.

12. Pure Land Buddhism in Modern Japanese Culture, by Elisabetta Porcu, Leiden; Boston; Brill, 2008.

13. Basho’s Haiku: Selected Poems by Matsuo Basho, tr. David Landis Barnhill, State University of New York Press, 2004.
14. Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples (Japan), by Hajime Nakamura, University Press of Hawii,1968
15. History of Japanese Thought, 592-1868: Japanese Philosophy before western culture entered Japan, by Hajime Nakamura, Kegan Paul, London, 2002.
Suggested topics for short and long essays

  1. Assess critically Prince Shotoku’s contribution towards the spread of Buddhism in Japan.

  1. Discuss the socio-political conditions at the time of the introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the 6th century A.D.

  1. Discuss briefly the Buddhist schools introduced from China during this period and comment on the characteristics of the Nara Buddhism.

  1. Discuss critically the Five Periods and Eight Doctrines of the Tendai School of Buddhism in Japan.

  1. Assess critically the contribution of the Tendai School towards the establishment of the Kamakura Buddhism.

  1. Examine the origins of the Mapp Theory (Degeneration of True Dharma) (末法) in India and critically assess the impact it had upon the development of Buddhism in Japan.

  1. The Jodo and Jodo-shin Schools of Amida-ism combined together became the most popular form of Buddhism in Japan: Discuss the salient teachings of the Pure Land form of Buddhism.

  1. Discuss the basic teachings of Zen Buddhism.

  1. Assess critically, with concrete examples, the Zen influence upon the cultural activities of the Japanese people.

  1. Discuss the importance of MUNEN (無念) and MUSHIN (無心) in Zen Buddhism.

You may also select any topic of your choice.


Tibetan Buddhism: history and doctrines

Dr. G.T. Halkias

Tel: 3917-2846

Email: halkias@hku.hk

Schedule: 2nd Semester; Saturday 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Class Venue: CPD-G.02, G/F, Centennial Campus
Course Description

This course aims at providing historical, doctrinal and sociological dimensions of Tibetan Buddhism. It mainly consists of the following topics: the historical context and events of the transmission of Buddhism to Tibet; the various Buddhist traditions of Tibet; their history, doctrinal differences and manifold socio-political spheres of influence; the history and institution of the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lama; Tibetan sacred art and symbolism and the mysticism and religious experience.


Students enrolling in this course should expect to: 1) select two research topics to study in depth and 2) integrate the lectures and assigned readings with the readings conducted for their research topics. Students will be asked to present on two different topics drawn specifically from the history and doctrines of Tibetan Buddhism and present their research findings through:

1. An oral presentation of first chosen topic in class (10 minutes long);

2. A written essay on second chosen topic (3000-3500 words).

Course assessment will be carried according to the following three criteria:
1. Oral Presentation in Class (10 minutes): 20%
Students are asked to present in a well-prepared and succinct manner their chosen topic with the aim of transmitting their knowledge critically and effectively to a generally educated audience. A short Q/A session will follow each presentation during which time the presenters will take on questions pertaining to their presentations. Students may use power point presentation and/or aiding materials (i.e., audio-visual, handouts, etc) during their in-class presentations.
Deadline: Students planning to receive grade or pass for this assignment ought to submit their proposed presentation topic (title and brief abstract of 100-200 words) on or before February 15th, 2014. Students may consult with their instructor prior to submitting their presentation topics. All proposed topics will be subject to the final approval of the instructor who will assign the dates for each student presentation.
2. Research Outline with Bibliography (500-800 words): 20%
Students ought to submit a well-thought outline of their research topic that includes:

1. Your full name, e-mail address, and date

2. Full title of research paper

3. Short Introduction to the research paper (approx. 300-400 words)

4. Tentative chapter headings with brief explanations on what will be discussed in each chapter

5. Conclusion, main argument/idea, or purpose (approx. 100 words)

6. Suggested bibliography (5-7 sources excluding internet sites and non-academic publications)*

* Translations of Tibetan texts and/with commentaries by Tibetan Buddhist masters count as academic publications for the purpose of this assignment.
The research outline is a blueprint of the final paper. It is not set in stone. Students may be encouraged to improve sections or even change the focus and/or contents of their papers after receiving feedback on their outlines from their instructor. In the event students are asked or decide to write on a research topic different from the one presented in their outlines they would need to submit a new research outline with bibliography.
Deadline: Students planning to receive grade or pass for this assignment ought to submit their research outline on or before April 5th, 2014. Since proposed research topics will be subject to the final approval of the instructor students are encouraged to consult with their instructor prior to submitting their research outline.
3. Essay (3500-4000 words): 60%
The word limit includes footnotes and bibliography, but not appendices. A minimum of 7 bibliographical sources cited in the essay (not just listed in the bibliography), ought to reflect research that includes academic books along with chapters in edited volumes and/or journal articles. Non academic sources do not count towards the minimum sources. Essays should critically appraise traditional accounts and historical issues in the Tibetan traditions and display familiarity with the readings assigned during the course.

Deadline: Students planning to receive full grade for this assignment ought to submit both: a) a printed copy of their essays at the instructor’s office or at the Centre’s office and b) an electronic copy of their paper through moodle, on or before May 10th, 2014.

Course Outline
Lecture 1: Buddhism in India and Mahāyāna traditions.
Reading: JP: (pp. 31-79 & pp. 101-130); GS: (pp. 44-64).
Lecture 2: The early dissemination of Indian Buddhism in Tibet (c.7th-9th centuries CE).
Reading: JP: (pp. 137-154); GS: (pp. 1-14 & pp. 31-32); MK (pp. 1-26); GT: (pp. 1-15).
Lecture 3: The later dissemination of Indian Buddhism in Tibet (c.10th-13th centuries CE).
Reading: JP: (pp.155-158); GS: (pp.32-33); MK (pp. 84-126); GT: (pp. 16-28).
** Submission of title and brief description of in-class presentation topic.
Lecture 4: Lamas and other religious practitioners.
Reading: GS (pp.129-164); GT: (pp. 29-48).
Lecture 5: Tibetan Buddhist Schools: lineages and major doctrines, Part I.
Reading: JP: (pp. 355-432); GT: (pp. 47-50 & pp.70-87).
Lecture 6: Tibetan Buddhist Schools: lineages and major doctrines, Part II.

Reading: JP: (pp. 433-498); MK: (pp. 127-174); GT: (pp. 26-27: pp. 34-37; pp. 40-43, & pp. 65-67).

Lecture 7: The School of the Bön: A Heterodox Buddhist system?

Reading: JP: (pp. 497-514); GS: (pp. 220-234); GT: (pp. 213-248).

Lecture 8: Folk religions, practical concerns and other dimensions of Tibetan Buddhism.

Reading: GS: (pp.165-185); MK (pp. 244-268); GT: (pp. 163-212).

Lecture 9: Monastic life and religious festivals.

Reading: JP: (pp. 219-232); GS: (pp. 88-107); MK (pp. 205-307); GT: (pp. 110-162).

Lecture 10: Death, dying, and liberation in the Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

Reading: JP: (pp. 325-354); GS: (p. 170).

** Submission of research outline with suggested bibliography for second topic.
Lecture 11: The union of Sūtra and Tantra: esoteric practices and theory of Vajrayāna Buddhism.
Reading: JP: (pp. 249-324); GS: (pp. 65-87); MK: (pp. 225-231); GT: (pp. 50-67).
Lecture 12: Tibetan Buddhist art and expressions of the sacred, devotion, and faith.

Reading: JP: (pp. 233-248).

Reading Material
Main Reference Book

(JP) Powers, John. 2007. Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, Revised Edition. New York: Snow Lion Publications.

Secondary Reference Books *

(GS) Samuel, Geoffrey. 2012. Introducing Tibetan Buddhism. New York: Routledge.

(MK) Kapstein, Matthew. 2006. The Tibetans. MA: Blackwell Publishers.

(GT) Tucci, Giuseppe. 1980. The Religions of Tibet. Translated by G. Samuel. London, Boston and Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

* Weekly readings from secondary reference books and additional material will be provided by the Instructor on moodle.
Select Bibliography

I. Tibetan History and Culture

Beckwith, Christopher I. 1987. The Tibetan Empire in Central Asia. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

________(ed). 1987. Silver on Lapis: Tibetan Literary Culture and History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Bu-ston Rin-chen. 1986. The History of Buddhism in India and Tibet. Reprint. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications.

Blondeau, Anne-Marie and Ernst Steinkellner (eds.). 1996. Reflections of the Mountain: Essays on the History and Social Meaning of the Mountain Cult in Tibet and the Himalaya. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

Choephel, Gendun. 1978. The White Annals. Translated by Samten Norboo. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.

Diemberger, Hildegard and Pasang Wangdu (trans). 2000. Dba’ bzhed. The Royal Narrative Concerning the Bringing of the Buddha’s Doctrine to Tibet. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

Hoffmann, Helmut et al. 1975, 1986. Tibet: A Handbook. Indiana University Oriental Series 5. Bloomington:

Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies.

Houston, G.W. 1980. Sources for a History of the Bsam yas Debate. Sankt Augustin: VGH Wissenschaftsverlag.

Huber, Toni (ed). 1999. Sacred Spaces and Powerful Places in Tibetan Culture. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.

Karmay, Samten Gyaltsen. 1998. The Arrow and the Spindle: Studies in History, Myths, Rituals and Beliefs in

Tibet. Kathmandu: Mandala Book Point.

Pelliot, Paul. 1961. Histoire ancienne du Tibet. Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve.

Petech, Luciano. 1994. “The Disintegration of the Tibetan Kingdom.” In Per Kvaerne, ed. Tibetan Studies. Oslo: The Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture, vol. 2, pp 649-59.

Richardson, Hugh E. 1998. High Peaks, Pure Earth: Collected Writings on Tibetan History and Culture. London:

Serindia Publications.

_______ 1984. Tibet and its History. Boulder, CO: Shambhala.

Samuel, Geoffrey. 1993. Civilized Shamans: Buddhism in Tibetan Societies. DC and London: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Snellgrove, David & Hugh Richardson. 2003. A Cultural History of Tibet. Reprint. Thailand: Orchid Press.

Sørensen, Per K. 1994. Tibetan Buddhist Historiography: The Mirror Illuminating the Royal Genealogies.

Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

Stein, Rolf Alfred. 1972. Tibetan Civilization. Translated from French by Driver. London: Faber and Faber Ltd.
II. Tibetan Buddhism (General)

Arya Asanga. 2000. The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra by Arya Maitreya.Commentary by Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thayé, explanations by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rnpoche. Translated by R. Fuchs. NY: Snow Lion.

Beyer, Stephan. 1973. The Cult of Tara: Magic and Ritual in Tibet. CA: University of California Press.

Dreyfus, George. 1997. Recognizing Reality: Dharmakīrti’s Philosophy and its Tibetan Interpreters. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Dowman, Keith. 1980. The Divine Madman. CA: The Dawn Horse Press.

Garfield, Jay (trans). 1995. The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nāgārjuna’s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā. New York: Oxford University Press.

Goodman, Steven D., and Ronald M. Davidson (eds.) 1992. Tibetan Buddhism: Reason and Revelation. Albany: SUNY Press.

Halkias, Georgios T. 2013. Luminous Bliss: a Religious History of Pure Land Literature in Tibet. With an Annotated Translation and Critical Analysis of the Orgyen-ling golden short Sukhāvatīvyūha-sūtra. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.

Hanvenick, Hanna. 1995. Tibetan Buddhist Nuns: History, Cultural Norms and Social Reality. Oslo: Norwegian University Press.

Hopkins, Jeffrey. 1983. Meditation on Emptiness. London: Wisdom Publications.

Kapstein, Matthew T. 2000. The Tibetan Assimilation of Buddhism: Conversion, Contestation and Memory. New

York: Oxford University Press.

Lopez, Donald, Jr., ed. 1997. Religions of Tibet in Practice. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Ricard, Matthieu (trans). 1994. The Life of Shabkar: The Autobiography of a Tibetan Yogi. NY: State University of New York.

Ruegg, David Seyfort. 1989. Buddha-Nature, Mind and the Problem of Gradualism in a Comparative Perspective: On the Transmission and Reception of Buddhism in India and Tibet. London: School of Oriental and African Studies.

Smith, Gene. 2001. Among Tibetan Texts: History and Literature of the Himalayan Plateau. Boston: Wisdom


Snellgrove, David. 1987. Indo-Tibetan Buddhism: Indian Buddhists and their Successors. Boston: Shambhala.

Tharchin, Sermey Geshe Lobsang. 1980. A Commentary on Guru Yoga and Offering of the Mandala. Ithaca: Snow Lion.

van der Kuijp, Leonard W. J. 1983. Contributions to the Development of Tibetan Buddhist Epistemology from the Eleventh to the Thirteenth Century. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag.

III. The Tibetan Buddhist Schools
Géluk (dGe lugs)
Brauen, Martin. 2005. The Dalai Lamas: A Visual History. Chicago: Serindia Press.

Dreyfus, Georges B. J. 2003. The Sound of Two Hands Clapping: The Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk. CA: University of California Press.

Karmay, Samten. 1988. Secret Visions of the Fifth Dalai Lama. London: Serindia Press.

Sherburne, Richard (trans). 1983. A Lamp for the Path and Commentary by Atiśa. London: Allen and Unwin.

Thurman, Robert A. F. 1982. The Life and Teachings of Tsong Khapa. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.

Tsong-kha-pa. 2001-4. The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. Ttranslated by Joshua Cutler et al. 3 vols. NY: Snow Lion.

Kagyu (bKa’ brgyud)

Guenther, Herbert V. (trans). 2001. The Jewel Ornament of Liberation. CA: Shambhala.

_______1963. The Life and Teachings of Nāropa. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Könchog Gyaltsen, Khenpo (trans). 1990. The Great Kagyü Masters: The Golden Lineage Treasury. NY: Snow Lion.

_______1986. The Garland of Mahamudra Practices: A Translation of Kunga Rinchen’s “Clarifying the Jewel Rosary of the Profound Fivefold Path.” Ithaca: Snow Lion.

Lhalungpa, Lobsang, trans. 1985. Mahāmudrā: The Quintessence of Mind and Meditation. Boston: Shambhala.

_____ trans. 1977. The Life of Milarepa. NY: E.P. Dutton.

Mullin, Glen H. (trans. and ed.). 2006. The Practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa. NY: Snow Lion.

Sakya (Sa skya)
Bosson, James E. 1969. A Treasury of Aphoristic Jewels: The Subhāitaratna-niddhi of Sa Skya Paṇḍita. Bloomington: Indiana University and the Hague: Mouton.

Cassinelli, C. W. and Robert B. Ekvall. 1969. A Tibetan Principality: The Political System of the Sa sKya. NY: Cornell University Press.

Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltshen. 2002. A Clear Differentiation of the Three Codes. Translated by Jared D. Rhoton. NY: State University of New York Press.

Stearns, Cyrus. 2001. Luminous Lives: The Story of the Early Masters of the Lam ‘bras Tradition in Tibet. MA: Wisdom Publications.

Nyingma (rNying ma)

Dowman, Keith (trans). 1984. Sky Dancer: The Secret Life and Songs of the Lady Yeshe Tsogyel. NY: Arkana.

Dudjom Rinpoche, Jikdrel Yeshe. 1991. The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History, trans. Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein. Boston: Wisdom Publications; 2nd revised ed. 2002.

Karmay, Samten G. The Great Perfection: A Philosophical and Meditative Teaching of Tibetan Buddhism. Leiden: Brill.

Khetsun Sangpo Rinbochay. 1982. Tantric Practice in Nying-ma. London: Rider.

Kunsang, Eric Pema (trans). 1993. The Lotus-Born: The Life of Padmasambhava. Boston: Shambhala.

Ling-pa, Jigme. 1982. The Dzogchen Innermost Essence Preliminary Practice. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.

Norbu, Namkhai. 2013. “The Mirror: Advice on Presence and Awareness (dran pa dang shes bzhin gyi gdams pa me long ma). Religions, 4: 412-422.

_______1986. The Crystal and the Way of Light: Sūtra, Tantra and Dzogchen. NY and London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Bön (Bon)
Karmay, Samten G. 1975. “A General Introduction to the History and Doctrines of Bon.” Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko 33: 171-218.

_______1972. The Treasury of Good Sayings: A Tibetan History of Bon. London: Oxford University Press.

Kvaerne, Per. 1995. The Bon Religion of Tibet: the Iconography of a Living Tradition. London: Serindia.

Reynolds, John Myrdhin. 2005. The Oral Tradition of Zhang-zhung. Kathmandu: Vajra Publications.

Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen. 1993. Heart Drops of Dharmakaya: Dzogchen Practice of the Bon Tradition. Translation and Commentary by Lopon Tenzin Namdak. NY: Snow Lion Publications.

Snellgrove, David L. 1967. The Nine Ways of Bon: Excerpts from the gZi brjid. London: Oxford University Press.

IV. Revealed Scriptures of Buddhism: Treasure Literature (terma; Tib. gter ma)

Aris, Michael. 1988. Hidden Treasures and Secret Lives: A Study of Pemalingpa (1450-1521) and the Sixth Dalai Lama (1683-1706). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

Doctor, Andreas. 2005. Tibetan Treasure Literature: Revelation, Tradition and Accomplishment in Visionary Buddhism. NY: Snow Lion.

Gyatso, Janet. 1998. Apparitions of the Self: The Secret Autobiographies of a Tibetan Visionary. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Martin, Dan. 2001. Unearthing Bon Treasures: Life and Contested Legacy of a Tibetan Scripture Revealer, with a General Bibliography of Bon. Leiden: Brill.

Tulku Thondup Rinpoche. 1986. Hidden Teachings of Tibet: An Explanation of the Terma Tradition of the Nyingma School of Buddhism. London: Wisdom Publications.

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