Course Outline: BP319 Social Philosophy of Buddhism, 2010/2011, Semester 1

Basic Data
Bachelor of Arts (Buddhist Studies)
First Semester (July 12-November 13, 2010) Academic year 2010/2011
Credit / status: 
3 credits / Major Subject
Course Organization: 

The course will be lectured based on and will be initiated with a review of the social dimension of Buddhism. This will be followed by detailed discussions on the relevant topics pertaining to the Buddhist social philosophy. Lectures (3 hour blocks) will be arranged in order as follows:

  • 1. Social dimension of Buddhism
  • 2. Social context of the noble eight fold path
  • 3. The distinguished characteristics of the social philosophy of Buddhism
  • 4. Buddhist perspective on the origin and evolution of the society.
  • 5. Buddhist attitude towards the social stratification
  • 6. Buddhist criticism on Brahamanic social norms
  • 7. Buddhist attitude to poverty, wealth and economic resources
  • 8. Buddhist principles on economy
  • 9. Buddhist principles on polity
  • 10. Crimes and punishment
  • 11. Buddhist attitude towards war
  • 12. Peace and social harmony.
  • 13. Buddhist social philosophy and modern society
  • 14. Buddhism and social service
  • 15. Social norms in Buddhist monasticism.
Course Requirements: 

Students are required to participate to do an essay assignment of 2000 words maximum. Class participation includes student’s presentation of their critical and descriptive knowledge of the Early Buddhist concepts of social philosophy. There is a mid- course and final written examination. A suitable amount of time will be allocated at the end of the course for the review and for the preparation of examination. To be eligible to sit for the final examination students must attend a minimum of 80% of the scheduled classes.

Allocation of Marks: 
  • Class participation 5%
  • Essay assignment 15%
  • Mid- course examination 20%
  • Final written examination 60%
Course Objectives: 

This course is intended to provide a critical and analytical survey of the social philosophy of Buddhism. Students are expected to acquire a sufficient and comprehensive knowledge of Buddhist social concepts and understanding of their applicability to the contemporary social issues and problems.


All tests, assignments and examinations are graded as follows with grade point and numerical marks:

Grade Performance Grade value Percentage Equivalence
A+ Excellent 4.0 90-100
A Almost Excellent 3.75 85-89
A- Fairly Excellent 3.5 80-84
B+ Very Good 3.25 75-79
B Good 3.0 70-74
B- Fairly Good 2.75 65-69
C+ Fair 2.5 60-64
C Satisfactory 2.25 55-59
C- Minimum Satisfactory 2.0 50-54
D+ Fairly Poor 1.5 40-49
D Poor 1.0 30-39
F Fail 0.0 29 or less
I Incomplete
W Withdrawn
WF Withdrawn because of failure
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