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Special Issue "Teaching in Buddhist Studies"
A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Humanities/Philosophies".
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 October 2021) | Viewed by 14298
Special Issue Editor
Interests: Buddhist Studies; Chinese religions; religion and media; comparative religious ethics; religious games; divination; karma; religion and literature
Special Issue Information
This guest issue focuses on the development of effective pedagogical approaches, assignments, and classroom activities for teaching in Buddhist studies. It builds on previous Buddhist studies pedagogy including Todd Lewis and Gary DeAngelis’ Teaching Buddhism: new insights on understanding and presenting the traditions (Oxford University Press, 2017), Judith Simmer-Brown and Fran Grace’s Meditation and the Classroom (SUNY Press, 2011), Sid Brown’s A Buddhist in the Classroom (SUNY Press, 2008), and others (Tsai 2008; Berkwitz 2004; Reynolds 2001). It also engages with recent conversations among Buddhist Studies scholars from a 2018 AAR pre-conference workshop “Buddhism for the Liberally Educated: Today’s Buddhist Studies Classroom.” At this workshop, participants identified many different factors that influence the way we approach instruction about Buddhism, including the institutional context, the departmental culture, and the graduate programs in which we were trained. We also spoke at length about diverse approaches to the study of Buddhism, such as textual analysis, philosophical discussion, or the study of lived Buddhist traditions, which impact the way we might approach Buddhist pedagogy.
Instructors face many challenges when teaching Buddhist studies courses, including how to provide students with a cogent historical narrative without oversimplification, how to redress biases and misinterpretations in early Buddhist studies scholarship, how to incorporate recent discussions and insights from the field of Buddhist studies, and how to engage with contemporary scientific, environmental, economic, ethical and social issues. They must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating contemplative pedagogy within their courses and how they might address potential criticism of contemplative practice as a form of proselytizing or cultural appropriation.
We would like to explore these issues as well as other concerns such as how we might address binaries and assumptions about Buddhism that our students bring to the classroom, how we might facilitate an awareness not only of Buddhist philosophy but also Buddhist practice and lived tradition, and how we might generate greater understanding about diversity within Buddhist traditions.
We encourage contributors to engage with scholarship on teaching and learning, putting their teaching into conversation with critical pedagogy, constructivist learning, transformative learning, experiential learning, and service learning. Questions to consider include the following: What specific teaching methods, assignments, or activities have you found most effective in your Buddhist Studies courses? Are there particular “threshold concepts” or conceptual gateways that enable your students to better understand the field (Meyer & Land, 2006)? What kinds of “significant learning experiences” promote active learning in your courses (Fink 2013)? What types of problem-based assignments, writing projects, or participant observation research have fostered critical thinking for your students (Brookfield 2012; Bean 2011)?
Bean, John C. 2011. Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Berkwitz, Stephen C. 2004. Conceptions and Misconceptions about “Western Buddhism”: Issues and Approaches for the Classroom. Teaching Theology & Religion 7: 141–52.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 2012. Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Brown, Sid. 2008. A Buddhist in the Classroom. Albany: SUNY Press.
Fink, L. Dee. 2013. Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Lewis, Todd and Gary DeAngelis, eds. 2017. Teaching Buddhism: new insights on understanding and presenting the traditions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Simmer-Brown, Judith and Fran Grace, eds. 2011. Meditation and the Classroom. Albany: SUNY Press.
Meyer, Jan and Ray Land. 2006. Overcoming Barriers to Student Understanding: Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge. New York: Routledg.
Reynolds, Frank. 2001. Teaching Buddhism in the Postmodern University: Understanding, Critique, Evaluation. Teaching Theology & Religion 4: 9–14.
Tsai, Julius N. 2008. Learning About Teaching from the Traditions We Teach: Reflections on an Undergraduate Buddhism Course. Teaching Theology & Religion 11: 159–64.
Prof. Dr. Beverley Foulks McGuire
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Buddhist Studies