Buddhism in Thai Society
RELS 258. 4 credits;
Foundations Credit for F11 and F9
Buddhism in Thai Society 2020 Syllabus.docx
Locations and Dates:
May 19-May 27, 2020
Chiang Mai, Thailand
May 28 - June 17, 2020
Our course for this Maymester, Buddhism in Thai Society, introduces students to Buddhism and the relationship between religion and society through a series of classroom presentations, field site visits, overnight stays in Buddhist temples, and interviews with Thai Buddhist practitioners in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Particular attention is given to the practice of Buddhism in Thailand along with a grounding in the tradition’s Indian roots and its influence on Thai Buddhism. This course seeks to help students develop a rich understanding of Theravada Buddhism as it is lived in Thailand: its doctrines, institutions, practices, values, and the role that it plays in the personal and social life of people in Thailand. We will take a topical approach discussing themes such as gender, social engagement, the monastic life, and meditation. Towards the end of the course new developments within Thai Buddhism will be analyzed in detail. Students will be encouraged to take advantage of their access to various temples, monks, and Buddhist communities while studying abroad in Thailand as a way of enriching their educational experience. Students should emerge from this course with a wealth of knowledge concerning the Buddhist tradition in general, as well as an appreciation for the role Buddhism has played in shaping many aspects of contemporary Thailand. In this 4-week intensive course students will study the diversity of Buddhist expressions in Thailand and should expand their ability to think and write critically about the concepts that they encounter in the course.
Our excursion is to a female Buddhist monastery called Suttajit Bhikkhuni Aaram, located in Doi Saket, about forty minutes outside of Chiang Mai city. We will stay here for one night. We will arrive in the morningand get settled into our dormitory rooms. Our hosts will then lead us in a number of activities over the day including Buddhist chanting, meditation, receiving food on an almsround, and listening to Buddhist teachings. We will also have a chance to interview these women about their lives and observe the relationship between them and their lay donors.
Hotel in Sathorn District of Bangkok
Nandamalee (Chiang Mai University housing), Tambon Suthep, Amphoe Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Students will arrive at the Bangkok airport and will either be picked up by me or my assistant or take a taxi to our hotel in the Sathorn district of the city. After a week of staying at that hotel, the students will all travel by flight to Chiang Mai airport and take a taxi to their accommodation at the Chiang Mai University housing called Nandamalee. We will have these rooms for the month. In Chiang Mai, we will all take transportation together to the classroom building. For all excursions after class, the professor will arrange for local transportation (Thai style taxis) to take us from the classroom building to the temples for each day.
Minimum GPA 2.5 and good academic and social standing.
Cost of program:
$2,050 (cost includes lodging, transportation to all class-related activities, and some group meals)
: Professor Brooke Schedneck, email@example.com
Need-Based Scholarship Applicants:
- Apply Here
- Summer Scholarship Process:Students with need are urged to apply early, before the Summer Scholarship Application closes on December 15.
- Need based award amounts will vary, based on each student's individual FAFSA report. Some awards may cover as much as 100% of the program cost, though most applicants will receive less than that.
- Students choosing to withdraw their Off-Campus Study Application for a Rhodes Summer Program* must do so BY JANUARY15. Following January 15, Rhodes′ "Program Fees and Billing" Policy, and Rhodes′ "Cancellation and Refund" Policy will apply. Follow this link to review our Policies.