Copenhagen, Denmark

Contemporary Buddhism

when 27 July 2020 - 7 August 2020
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 7.5 EC

International summer school
(BA and MA-levels, 7.5 ECTS)
University of Copenhagen ⋅ 27 July–7 August 2020

Deadline for applications: 1 April 2020
NOTE: Second round of applications: 1 June 2020

This summer school is geared towards students who are interested in learning more about contemporary Buddhism - a burgeoning field which has not yet taken root in universities and study programmes around the world.

The summer school offers a rich learning environment with a diversity of teaching formats that will help to immerse the student in contemporary Buddhist studies, thereby acquiring a great amount of knowledge in just two weeks. The summer school enquires into contemporary Buddhism as an interdisciplinary topic of investigation through bridging area studies, religious studies, anthropology, sociology and political science.

Building upon an introduction to some key concepts of Buddhism, we explore how ‘Buddhism’ is employed within various contexts in Asia and beyond, while paying attention to possible contradictions, contentions and contentment with contemporary issues, which include:

Buddhist modernity and secularism
Commodification of Buddhism and the spiritual marketplace
Entanglements of Buddhism with politics
Buddhism and environmentalism
Buddhism and new media
Travels and cultural translations
The summer school will offer lectures by foremost scholars of contemporary Buddhist studies, engaged discussion groups with scholars, sessions on research methodologies including field visits to sites of contemporary Buddhism, and individual research projects on a topic of the student’s choice to go more in-depth in a particular field of interest related to contemporary Buddhist studies. Moreover, throughout the course we will work with various media formats and discuss how to engage with public scholarship through twitter, blogs, and other social media sites.

The exam is based on active attendance. Requirements for passing the course is 75% attendance, participation in classroom and group discussions, delivering a number of shorter written assignments and delivering one oral presentation on a topic of interest.

The summer school will take place from 27 July to 7 august 2020 and is organized by Dr. Elizabeth Williams-Oerberg and Dr. Trine Brox, Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies and Center for Contemporary Buddhist Studies with support from the Asian Dynamics Initiative.

Course leader

Dr. Elizabeth Williams-Oerberg and Dr. Trine Brox

Target group

Undergraduate (BA-level) students who have completed at least one year of bachelor studies and graduate (MA-level) students with an interest in contemporary Buddhism are encouraged to apply. The summer school combines approaches from the Humanities and Social Sciences, but interested students from other disciplines are also welcome to apply.

If students have no previous experience studying Buddhist Studies or Contemporary Buddhist Studies, we highly recommend reading two suggested books before coming to the summer school:

Harvey, Peter 2013. An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. (521 pages)
Keown, Damien 2013. Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, Oxford University Press. (158 pages)
The required syllabus readings will be announced upon enrolment.

The course is open to Danish as well as international students. Good English skills are required.

Fee info

EUR 0: For more information on tuition fees please visit our website.