ASR207 - Tibetan Buddhism


2021 unit information

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Cloud (online)

Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125




Incompatible with:


Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 1-hour class per week, 1 x 1-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - cloud (online)

1 x 1-hour class per week (recordings provided), 1 x 1-hour online seminar per week


The popularity of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, advocated by celebrities such as Richard Gere, raises interesting questions about the appeal of this particular “religion”. Concurrently, a rising trend in practices grounded in Tibetan Buddhism, such as meditation and mindfulness, are distinctly presented as “not-religious”. What is Tibetan Buddhism, and how can we begin to further understand the complexities of this conceptual and practical system, with its distinct history, culture, language and philosophy?

In this unit, Tibetan Buddhism is presented according to two broad approaches: the first, which sets a general introduction to the unit, is trans-disciplinary and includes an exploration of historical adaptations of Buddhism in Tibetan regions and philosophical underpinnings to the various traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, among others. The second focuses on the ethnography of Buddhism in Tibetan cultural areas and beyond. By examining rich and in-depth cultural and symbolic practices of Tibetan Buddhism and highlighting the complexities of this continually adapting system, we develop critical insights on the nature of “religion” in Tibetan cultural areas and compare these with adopted practices in supposedly secular societies.

Unit Fee Information

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