ASIAN 329 - Buddhism, Politics, and Violence in Modern Asia
Fall 2018, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


While Buddhism is stereotypically associated with non-violence, in the modern era it also has played a role in acts of war, genocide, ethnic cleansing, insurgency and pogroms. How and why have Buddhist beliefs, institutions and groups fostered social conflict and communal violence? How has nationalism, economic development and democratic politics in the 20th and 21st centuries contributed to the emergence of Buddhist identities rooted in political violence? How have Buddhist values, communities, and historical memories been challenged and transformed by acts of collective violence?

We will examine a variety of cases involving Buddhism, politics and violence in modern Asia: Buddhist nationalism and civil war in Sri Lanka, anti-Muslim campaigns and riots in Burma, ethno-religious insurgency in Thailand, genocide in Cambodia, and imperialism and war in East Asia. Through these cases studies we will explore what the intersection of religion, politics and violence can teach us about modern Buddhism’s vision of morality, tolerance, religious pluralism, and national belonging.

Course Requirements:

Attendance and participation 20% - Postings/Reading Responses 25% - In class presentation 15% - Formal essays 40%.

Intended Audience:

Any student with an interest in Religion, Politics, Sociology, Asian Studies and Buddhist Studies. No knowledge of Buddhism or Asian language, history or culture is necessary.

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly


ASIAN 329 - Buddhism, Politics, and Violence in Modern Asia
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM

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