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TMP 225

The Catholic Church and Other Religions

This is a study of the Buddhist family of traditions in their organic development in history, considering the social, economic, political, cultural and religious contexts in which the followers of the Awakened One propagated their doctrine and practice across societies in the Asian subcontinent, from its inception in India through South and Southeast Asia, and to Tibet, China, Korea and Japan, and to Western societies in the twentieth century. Focus will be given to particular forms of Buddhism that continue to thrive in our world today, including Theravada, Tibetan, Zen, Lotus and Pure Land Buddhism, in their doctrinal content and soteriological message. Key doctrinal themes, including notions of the Three Bodies of the Buddha, the doctrine of Emptiness, the doctrine of Interconnectedness, as well as features of devotional and meditative or contemplative practice will be considered, with comparative reflections from Christian and other interreligious perspectives. Course will also include film viewing, book report assignments, and site visits to and interviews with members of Buddhist centers in the Metro Manila area. The course aims to acquaint the students with the main traits of some Asian Religions (Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism) and to analyze the philosophies which stemmed from them. Emphasis will also be placed on how the knowledge of these religious worldviews and philosophical systems could contribute to the much-needed activity of inter-cultural and interreligious dialogue.

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Loyola School of Theology