Education About Asia: Online Archives

Teaching Buddhism from a Comparative Perspective

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Coverage of Buddhism in public high schools is typically sporadic, since religion is seldom a part of the standard curriculum, and when it is taught, it is usually in the context of social studies or world history classes. The situation is somewhat different in colleges and universities, because many of these institutions have a historical or ongoing connection with Christian religious denominations. Courses in religion, including some coverage of Buddhism, often form part of a core curriculum or fulfill distribution requirements. In the case of secular public universities with religion departments, coverage of Buddhism most commonly takes place in courses on world religions, typically at the introductory level, which in many cases meet general distribution requirements in the humanities.