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Spring 2014 Course Descriptions

English 3099  Myth and Culture (Honors)

English 3099G Section 099    CRN 31608
Myth and Culture, Honors    1530-1800 R

This course will involve an in-depth look at the myths and culture of three Asian countries, namely, India, China, and Japan. In the Indian segment, we will read the Hindu and Buddhist (the Hinayana or the Theravada) myths. The study of Hinduism will include (i) Vedic (Early and Later) Mythology, and (ii) the Puranic (The Mahabharata) Mythology. The Chinese segment will include the study of Confucianism, Taoism and Mahayana (or Pureland) Buddhism. Finally, the Japanese segment will focus on Zen Buddhism, Shinto and Ainu Mythologies. The primary orientation of this study will be to develop a clear understanding of (a) philosophical and religious interpretations of the myths of creation/origin of the world, death, divinity, fate, the ultimate goal/s of human life, etc., and (b) social systems and moral/ethical values of these cultures. Whenever possible, we will also compare the commonalities and differences among these three Asian cultures and mythologies. (Group 5)