Fall 2024

The Story of the Buddha

Listed in: English, as ENGL-356  |  Religion, as RELI-256


Maria R. Heim (Section 01)


(Offered as: ASLC-XXX, ENGL-356 (before 1800), RELI-256) At the heart of Buddhism is the story of Siddhartha Gautama, a young prince who had everything but renounced it all to become a homeless wanderer, attain awakening, and found one of the world's largest religions 2,500 years ago. His story has been told in countless ways in literature, art, and ritual practice. It is a story that begins in his distant previous lives and encompasses a vast time-scape of pursuing human perfection. It also includes the stories of his family and closest disciples. Guided by theories of literary aesthetics from ancient India, this course explores this ancient corpus of material with a literary eye for its beauty and religious power. 

Fall semester. Professor M. Heim.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Close reading and analysis of literary texts and art from the distant past, seminar discussion, and writing creative and analytical papers that deepen their thinking.

Course Materials


Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2018, Fall 2024