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Ch 3: World Religion: Buddhism

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about the birth of Buddhism and the religion's main tenets, leaders and branches. Take self-assessment quizzes to check your knowledge of the subject matter.

World Religion: Buddhism - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

The chapter starts with an overview of the founding of Buddhism by Gautama Buddha. Experienced instructors guide you through the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism and the religion's core belief in Enlightenment. Lessons explore gender roles in Buddhism, as well as the religion's non-violent stance. You'll examine the various branches of Buddhism, including Thervada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. By the end of the chapter, you'll have a firm understanding of:

  • Important Buddhist terms, including dharma and anatman
  • The concept of Nirvana or Buddhist salvation
  • The Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path to Enlightenment
  • Gender roles in Buddhism
  • Branches of Buddhism
  • Tibetan vs. Chinese Buddhism
  • Japanese Zen Buddhism

Video Objective
Gautama Buddha: The Founding of Buddhism Explore the life of Gautama Buddha and Buddhism's history.
Nirvana: Enlightenment and Buddhist Salvation Learn about Nirvana and how all castes can achieve enlightenment.
The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism Understand the Four Noble Truths and the origin of suffering in Buddhism.
The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment Explain the role of the Eightfold Path and its relation to the Four Noble Truths.
Buddhism: The Middle Way to Enlightenment Comprehend the principle of moderation and the middle way to Enlightenment.
The Three Baskets and the Dhammapada: Description and Overview Analyze the poems and sayings of the Dhammapada and the Pali Canons as sacred texts.
The Triple Gem of Buddhism: Buddha, Kharma and Samgha Explain how Samgha and Kharma relate to Buddhist monasticism and an ascetic lifestyle.
Gender Roles in Buddhism Explore the role of men and women in Buddhism, both in the lay community and monasticism.
Emperor Asoka: The Height of Buddhism Study Emperor Asoka, his conversion to Buddhism and his missionary practices.
Non-Violence and the Buddhist Belief System Analyze Buddhism's views on human behavior and the religion's belief in non-violence.
The Branches of Buddhism: Thervada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Identify the rituals and beliefs of different branches of Buddhism, including Thervada, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism.
The Dalai Lama: Tibetan Buddhism Explore the history of Tibetan Buddhism, including the origins of the Dalai Lama, the role of Altan Khan and the reincarnation of bodhisattva.
Chinese Buddhism and the Taoist Threat Analyze the clash of Buddhism and Taoism, looking at how modifications were eventually made to Buddhist beliefs in China.
Japanese Zen Buddhism: Description, Branches and Revival Study how the Shinto religion blended with Buddhism in Japan and examine the revival of Buddhism in this area with the coming of Christian missionaries.

13 Lessons in Chapter 3: World Religion: Buddhism
Gautama Buddha: The Founding of Buddhism

1. Gautama Buddha: The Founding of Buddhism

This lesson will explore the founding of Buddhism and the life of Siddhartha Gautama. It will also highlight nirvana, asceticism, the concept of a bodhisattva, and the Bodhi tree.

Nirvana: Enlightenment and Buddhist Salvation

2. Nirvana: Enlightenment and Buddhist Salvation

This lesson will seek to explain the Buddhist concept of Nirvana. In doing so, it will also highlight the Buddhist belief in the concepts of an arhat and a bodhisattva.

The Four Noble Truths & the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment

3. The Four Noble Truths & the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment

This lesson will explain the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. In doing so, it will explain the origins of Buddhism and the life of Siddhartha Gautama. It will also highlight the Buddhist belief of the Eightfold Path.

Buddhism: The Middle Way to Enlightenment

4. Buddhism: The Middle Way to Enlightenment

This lesson will explore the term 'Middle Way' as an alternate name for Buddhism. In doing so, it will highlight Siddhartha Gautama as the founder of Buddhism, while also detailing his belief in the Eightfold Path.

The Three Baskets and the Dhammapada: Description & Overview

5. The Three Baskets and the Dhammapada: Description & Overview

This lesson will explain the importance of Buddhism's sacred texts, known as the Tripitaka. Using the Westernized term, the Three Baskets, this lesson will also highlight the importance of the Dhammapadain to Buddhism.

The Triple Gem of Buddhism: The Buddha, The Dharma & The Sangha

6. The Triple Gem of Buddhism: The Buddha, The Dharma & The Sangha

This lesson will seek to explain the Buddhist belief in the Triple Gem. Explaining the concepts of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, it will also highlight the Four Noble Truths.

Gender Equality in Buddhism

7. Gender Equality in Buddhism

This lesson will seek to explore and explain some of Buddhism's beliefs about gender roles. Focusing on women in the faith, it will highlight the terms Nirvana, bhikkhunis, and the orthodox school of Theravada Buddhism.

Emperor Asoka: The Height of Buddhism

8. Emperor Asoka: The Height of Buddhism

This lesson will highlight the life and accomplishments of Asoka the Great. In doing this, it will explore the historical significance of his Rock Edicts as well as the role he played in spreading Buddhism to East and Southeast Asia.

Non-violence and the Buddhist Belief System

9. Non-violence and the Buddhist Belief System

This lesson will explain the Buddhist beliefs of human existence. In doing so, it will highlight the Buddhist terms dukkha, anicca and anatta. It will also explore Buddhism's Five Precepts.

The Branches of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana & Vajrayana

10. The Branches of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana & Vajrayana

This lesson will explore the three main branches of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. It will also highlight Pure Land and Tantric Buddhism, as well as the belief in nirvana and the bodhisattva.

The Dalai Lama: Tibetan Buddhism

11. The Dalai Lama: Tibetan Buddhism

This lesson will seek to give a brief history of Tibetan Buddhism and the importance of the Dalai Lama. In doing so, it will also highlight the Buddhist terms Bodhisattva, Tulku, and High Lama.

Chinese Buddhism and the Taoist Threat

12. Chinese Buddhism and the Taoist Threat

This lesson will trace Buddhism's rise to prominence in China. In doing so, it will highlight the Han and Tang Dynasties as well as Emperor Wuzong's persecution of the Buddhist monasteries of the 9th century.

Japanese Zen Buddhism: Description, Branches & Revival

13. Japanese Zen Buddhism: Description, Branches & Revival

In this lesson, we will explain the history of Buddhism in Japan. In doing so, we'll highlight Zen and Jodo Buddhism as well as Dual Shinto. We'll also look at the 20th-century revival of Buddhism within the country.

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