This course introduces key concepts of Indian Buddhist thought. Over 5 lectures Bee explains the fundamental themes and problems of Buddhist Philosophy; from the early Buddhist teachings on ‘suffering’, ‘karma’ and ‘No-Self’, to the later scholasticism and the famous schools of thought around ‘emptiness’ and ‘mind-only’. Each chapter introduces another layer of Buddhist philosophical development and depth. The course forms a very clear and intriguing introduction to the wealth of Buddhist thought.
- Session One: Introduction – Buddhism as religion, philosophy or psychology? Modernism and Buddhist thought; the Buddha and the Four Noble Truths
- Session Two: Understanding the Four Noble Truths – unsatisfactoriness, afflicting emotions, nirvana and the eightfold Path
- Session Three: Buddhist psychology of no-self – heaps of grasping, dependent arising and cause & effect (karma)
- Session Four: Buddhist ontology. Scholasticism and reality (Abhidharma); perfection of wisdom and emptiness (Madhyamaka)
- Session Five: Buddhist metaphysics. Mind and Buddha-Nature.
Professor Bee Scherer, PhD is a long-time practitioner of Buddhism and has been globally teaching as a Buddhist lay teacher. Bee currently serves as the vice-chair of the International Lay Buddhist Forum.
After the study of classics, Indic (Sanskrit, Pāli, Prakrits) and Tibetan philology in Germany and the United States, completed by a PhD (Groningen, The Netherlands 2002), Bee published among others on karma; Nāgārjuna and early Mind-only; and, in recent years, on transnational Tibetan Buddhism; radical, reform and socially engaged Buddhism in Asia; and on Buddhist perspectives on gender and sexuality.
Currently, Bee is chair (full professor) in Religious Studies & Gender Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University and directs the INCISE research institute (http://incise.center).
As a trans/non-binary scholar-cum-activist Bee has established the interdisciplinary, transnational Queering Paradigms Social justice academic network and conference series.
Prof. Scherer has authored more than a dozen monographs and edited volumes in German, Dutch and English, among which features the substantial Introduction to Buddhism (2005, in German) with a foreword by HH. The Dalai Lama.
Cover art designed by Lilac-Al-Taie