This course examines the role of Buddhist scripture in the development of the Buddhist tradition. Students become familiar with the canonical literature of the three vehicles through reading early suttas and excerpts from Mahāyāna sūtras and Vajrayāna tantras. Additional material such as the avadānas and the dohās may be examined, as well as texts from several commentarial traditions. The role of scripture in the practice of religion is examined, with an eye toward the relationship between texts and ritual practice. During this course students will gain an understanding of the development of various scriptural traditions in Buddhism and the role that scriptures have played in the development of the tradition through time and across cultures.