OL BE 1: Buddhist Ethics

This short course in Buddhist Ethics tackles issues we face in our everyday lives and practice. Topics range from whether Buddhists should eat meat, the role of gender, and how violence has, perhaps surprisingly, played a role in the history of the Buddhist tradition. Without looking for easy answers, Professor Stephen Jenkins (Humboldt University) explores the textual and historical evidence for the tradition's position on a variety of ethical issues that still confront the world today. Students should be prepared to deal with controversial issues and have their expectations challenged.

This short online course assumes no prior knowledge of Buddhist philosophy, history, or practice. This course can be studied in five weeks offering one lecture per week with associated reading materials. The course material will be presented through video lectures, downloadable PDF course readings, and additional web-based resources.

Students can expect to spend about an hour and a half with each of the five topics. In the interactive format, a course moderator will lead students in discussions that will enrich the learning process. Discussion forums, both moderated and student-only, allow for open dialogue to discuss questions and seek clarification. Students can study at their leisure in the self-study format.

Students will navigate the course material via Moodle, an open source e-learning environment. Internet access is required for studying this course. Students will have access to this short course for four months from their date of registration.