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Main Trends in the Buddhism


Granaroli B.


Menon M.



The course will provide fundamental Buddhist insight into the age of interreligious dialogue and religious pluralism. So far, Christianity led the dialogue between the religions. We should admit the Christian contribution to the development of the active encounter between the various religious traditions of humankind, but this course tries to get an “alternative” model for interreligious and intercultural dialogue from Buddhist thought. It would, therefore, include a brief explanation of what interfaith dialogue means and how we can approach that dialogue with the Buddhist understanding of human beings, the world, and the Ultimate Reality. First, we will read the famous Zen Buddhist text of “Ten-Ox-Herding.” Then we will explain how the Chan/Zen Buddhism and Hua-yen/Kegon Buddhist insights, two mainstream Buddhist thoughts in East Asia, are included in this text. Finally, these explanations would lead us to the theme about the ideal way of life of human beings: the Bodhisattva, a human being for others.


  • the meaning of the interreligious and intercultural encounter
  • a brief history of Buddhism and Buddhist insight on the base of “Ten-ox-herding,” the famous Chan/Zen Buddhist text
  • Chan/Zen Buddhist understanding of the True Self of human being and the way to find out the True Self
  • Hua-yen/Kegon Buddhist worldview and its meaning for interreligious and intercultural dialogue
  • the ideal type of human being as Bodhisattva, which is asked for our age I also hope that this lecture could provide the students with the ability to understand and evaluate the Buddhist way of thinking for our age.

Teaching mode


Learning methods


Examination information

At the end of each term of the course, the student must take a written exam. It focuses on the topics covered during the course as well as on the texts listed in the recommended bibliography.
The exam consists of 5 open questions. Each answer must be 3000 characters long, including spaces.
The exam paper must be uploaded onto the dedicated area on the eLearning platform, during the one-week long exam session. 

Dates can be consulted in the academic calendar.