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misunderstandings about the nature of Buddhism.


Stephen Batchelor’s book, Buddhism without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening is an attempt to correct some fundamental misunderstandings about the nature of Buddhism. Using your copy of this book, write a 4 to 6 page paper in which you explore one of the most central claims of the work: Buddhism is not a religion, but a way of practice designed to heal one’s life of anguish.


Your paper should be organized into the following sections:


  • Introduction (write this after you work on the other sections so that you can describe what you are going to do and what your main arguments will be)
  • In the first content section, take up Batchelor’s comments about the Buddha (e.g., p. 5-6) and Buddhism as a religion (e.g., p. 7, 12, 14-20)
  • In the second content section, choose one of the book’s expositions of fundamental Buddhist practice by describing and interpreting the content of either the chapter on “Awareness,” “Emptiness,” or “Compassion.”
  • In the third content section, discuss the author’s views on Freedom and Awakening in the chapter entitled “Freedom.”
  • Conclusion (reflect on the various sections of the paper and describe in what ways the book and the paper you have written informed you about Buddhism and/or changed your understandings and interpretations of it).


Format:  Make the margins on your paper 1 inch on all sides, type in Times New Roman 12 pt. font, double space the entire paper.  Put page numbers in the upper right corner header, including the first page as page 1.  Use this assignment block on the first page on the left margin.


[Your name]

“Buddhism as a Spiritual Way”

HUM  1500. The World of Asian Humanities

Spring 2021