Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Oliver Freiberger


Ph.D., Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany

Associate Professor
Oliver Freiberger

Contact

  • Phone: 512-471-8239
  • Office: WCH 4.104A
  • Office Hours: Fall 2016: W 11:30am–1:30pm, Th 2–3pm
  • Campus Mail Code: G9300

Interests


Indian Buddhism | asceticism | comparison in the study of religion

Biography


Oliver Freiberger is Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Religious Studies. He completed his Ph.D. in Indology, with concentrations in History of Religions and Tibetology, at the University of Göttingen in 1999 and received his Habilitation degree in Religious Studies from the University of Bayreuth in 2009. He was a Harrington Faculty Fellow at UT in 2002-03 and joined the faculty in 2004.

Prof. Freiberger's primary research interests include the history of Buddhism in South Asia, asceticism, and comparison in the study of religion. He has (co-)written three monographs, (co-)edited eight volumes, and published multiple articles and book chapters on these and other topics in Asian religions and method and theory (see "Publications" for details). His most recent book (2nd ed. in 2015) is a handbook of and introduction to Buddhism, co-authored with Christoph Kleine. Currently he works on a book on the comparative method in the study of religion.

Courses taught:

Undergraduate:
Introduction to Buddhism; History of Religions of Asia; History of Indian Buddhism; Introduction to Comparative Religion; Radical Religion: Ascetics and Holy Persons

Graduate:
Early Buddhism Monasticism; The Buddha and Non-Buddhists; Asceticism; Religious Identity in Premodern South Asia; Core Readings on Religion in Asia

Courses


ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

31610 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM UTC 3.122
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 302)

Description: 

This course offers a survey of the major religious traditions of Asia (Hinduism, Buddhism in South and East Asia, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto). It focuses on the historical development of their beliefs, practices, rituals, and customs in social context. The course will combine lectures with class discussions on readings.

Course materials:

  1. Willard G. Oxtoby, Roy C. Amore, eds. World Religions: Eastern Traditions. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  2. R. K. Narayan, The Mahabharata: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000.
  3. Zhuangzi: Basic Writings, translated by Burton Watson. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
  4. Readings provided as PDF files on CANVAS

Grading:

  • Attendance/participation: 20%
  • Two quizzes: 20% (10% each)
  • Two short essays: 20% (10% each)
  • Midterm exam: 20%
  • Final exam: 20%

ANS 340 • Intro Comparative Religion

31660 • Fall 2016
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM MEZ 1.206
(also listed as R S 375S)

Religions have emerged and developed in different cultural settings. Each individual religious expression – beliefs, practices, literature, artwork, institutions, etc. – is shaped by its historical, cultural, political, and economic context and much more. Also, most religious actors would insist that at least some aspects of their own beliefs or practices are entirely unique. On the other hand, some religious expressions in historically unrelated cultures seem strikingly similar to the observer – in their conceptual presentation, in their performance, in their social functions, or in other ways. Carefully considering both differences and similarities, this course introduces students to comparative approaches in the study of religion. Drawing on classical and contemporary studies we will critically discuss various motivations for comparing religions; techniques of comparison; risks such as decontextualizing and essentializing certain religious phenomena; and benefits such as finding blind spots through comparison and being able to classify religious expressions in insightful ways. Numerous examples from Asian and other religions will enrich the discussions. During the course of the semester, students will also develop individual comparative projects.

Readings:
Course packet

Grading/Requirements:
Attendance/participation: 25%
Oral presentation: 20%
Response papers: 25%
Research project: 30%

ANS 301M • Introduction To Buddhism

30740 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM UTC 4.134
(also listed as R S 312C)

This course examines the history of Buddhism by tracing the development of its various schools, doctrines, and religious practices in Asia and beyond. We will explore the historical background against which it arose in India, and study traditional views of the life of the Buddha, the early teachings, and the structure of the Buddhist community of monastics and laypeople. We will examine the growth of Buddhism in India, the development of Therav?da Buddhism, and its spread into South East Asia. The emergence of Mah?y?na Buddhism in India and its spread into Central Asia and East Asia will be covered as well as the development of Vajray?na Buddhism in Tibet. We will then examine the 19th century movement of Buddhist modernism in Sri Lanka and its relations to the Western world. This will be the basis for eventually exploring the various ways Buddhism came to Europe and America and examining the new forms and ideas it developed here.

Textbooks
C.S. Prebish, D. Keown. Introducing Buddhism.
J.S. Strong. The Experience of Buddhism.

Grading
Attendance/participation: 20%
Three quizzes: 30% (10% each)
Oral presentation: 20%
Final exam: 30%

ANS 384E • Asceticism

30930 • Spring 2016
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM PAR 310
(also listed as R S 394T)

 This graduate seminar addresses multiple aspects of asceticism, a concept and practice found in many religious traditions. Drawing on original sources and on relevant scholarship, we will discuss a variety of issues: The scope and definition of the term “asceticism,” including the distinction between religious and non-religious asceticism; the motivations for pursuing an ascetic life, including religious, economic, social, and political motives; the relations between ascetic beliefs and ascetic practices; the ascetic’s status in society; critical views towards asceticism in the history of religions; scholarly theories of asceticism; and the risks and benefits of a comparative approach. While the suggested material stems primarily from pre-modern South Asia and, to a lesser degree, from the Greco-Roman world, students are encouraged to suggest cases studies from other areas as well, particularly for their own research essay.

Texts/Readings:
Wimbush/Valantasis, Asceticism
Gavin Flood, The Ascetic Self
Haripada Chakraborti, Asceticism in ancient India
Patrick Olivelle, Samnyasa Upanisads
Vincent L. Wimbush, Ascetic Behavior in Greco-Roman Antiquity
Peter Brown, The Body and Society
Course packet

Grading/Requirements:
Attendance/participation 40%
Oral presentation 20%
Research essay 40%

ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

30820 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM UTC 3.122
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 302)

FLAGS:   GC

Description:

This course offers a survey of the major religious traditions of Asia (Hinduism, Buddhism in South and East Asia, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto). It focuses on the historical development of their beliefs, practices, rituals, and customs in social context. The course will combine lectures with class discussions on readings.

Course materials:

  1. Willard G. Oxtoby, Roy C. Amore, eds. World Religions: Eastern Traditions. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  2. R. K. Narayan, The Mahabharata: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000.
  3. Zhuangzi: Basic Writings, translated by Burton Watson. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
  4. Readings provided as PDF files on CANVAS

Grading:

Attendance/participation: 20%

Two quizzes: 20% (10% each)

Two short essays: 20% (10% each)

Midterm exam: 20%

Final exam: 20%

ANS 379 • Radical Religion: Ascetics

30963 • Fall 2015
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM CAL 21
(also listed as R S 375S)

Radical Religion: Ascetics and Holy Persons

Asceticism, as a concept and a way of life, exists in many religious traditions. Ascetics commit to bodily restraints that can be manifold and are practiced at various levels of intensity. From specific food restraints (for example, vegetarianism) to fasting to death; from celibacy to self-castration; from wearing simple robes to going naked; from shaving one’s head to severe self-mutilation; from living in a monastic community to locking one-self in a cell to constant wandering. Using case studies from various religions, this course discusses the concepts, practices, and goals associated with this radical way of life. It also introduces students to scholarly approaches to asceticism, which includes theories of the body and of culture more generally. Other topics discussed in class are the social status of the ascetic; asceticism and gender; asceticism and devotion; and asceticism and violence. Historical examples will be taken primarily from India (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism) and Mediterranean late antiquity (Greek/Roman religions, Christianity, Judaism).

Readings: Course packet

Grading:

20% Attendance/participation

20% Reading responses

15% Partner project

45% Research essay

 

ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

32070 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM UTC 3.134
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 302)

This course offers a survey of the major religious traditions of Asia (Hinduism, Buddhism in South and East Asia, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto). It focuses on the historical development of their beliefs, practices, rituals, and customs in social context. The course will combine lectures with class discussions on readings.

Course materials:

  1. Willard G. Oxtoby, Roy C. Amore, eds. World Religions: Eastern Traditions. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  2. R. K. Narayan, The Mahabharata: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000.
  3. Zhuangzi: Basic Writings, translated by Burton Watson. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
  4. Readings provided as PDF files on CANVAS

Grading
Attendance/participation: 20%
Two quizzes: 20% (10% each)
Two short essays: 20% (10% each)
Midterm exam: 20%
Final exam: 20%

ANS 340 • Intro Comparative Religion

32100 • Spring 2014
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM PAR 210
(also listed as R S 375S)

This course introduces and discusses major comparative approaches in the study of religion. Note that it is NOT an introduction to world religions but rather an advanced seminar on method and theory of comparison in Religious Studies. - The act of comparison is as old as religion is. Religious individuals and groups have often compared their beliefs and practices with those of their neighbors, sometimes with a sincere religious interest, sometimes merely to demonstrate the superiority of their own religion. Since the end of the 19th century, scholars of religion have sought to develop methods of comparison that were not religiously biased. They asked: What are the differences and the similarities in the religions of the world? Why do religions have the same – or completely different – answers to the same existential questions? Why do they express their beliefs by developing very different – or strikingly similar – practices? This course surveys classical and current approaches to the comparison of religions. The guiding questions are: What are the respective goals of the comparative enterprises? What specific methods are advocated and actually carried out? Should we adopt those goals and methods for our own reflections on religion? The introduction to these issues will be illustrated by numerous examples from the history of religions. Many examples will be taken from Asian religions, but depending on the interests of students in class, we may extend our scope into any direction.

Readings:
Course Packet

Grading:
Attendance/participation: 25%
Oral presentation: 20%
Response papers: 20%
Research project: 35% (two essay drafts, presentation, final essay)

ANS 301M • Introduction To Buddhism

31765 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 303
(also listed as R S 312C)

This course is designed to provide the student with a structural and historical overview of Buddhism through the examination of various schools, doctrines, and religious practices. We will begin our study in India and look at the ways in which the contexts of post-Vedic civilization and orthodox Hinduism made Buddhism possible, and ask the following questions about Buddhism's founder: Who was the "historical Buddha?" What were the factors that led to his enlightenment? What did the Buddha teach, and what didn't he? How was the early Buddhist community structured? We will examine the developments in Theravada (also termed Orthodox or Southern) and Mahayana (Greater Vehicle) Buddhism and the spread of these two distinctive schools into Southeast and East Asia respectively. We will also study Vajrayana (Diamond Vehicle) Buddhism as it manifested in Tibet. Finally, we will examine the peculiar relationship that Buddhism has had with the West and explore the various ways in which European and American societies have embraced Buddhism and made it their own.

 

Grading:

Attendance/participation: 20% Three quizzes: 10% ea.Oral presentation: 20%Final exam: 30%

Texts:

C. S. Prebish / D. Keown, Introducing Buddhism (or: Buddhism - the eBook)J. Strong, The Experience of Buddhism, 3rd ed.

ANS 379 • Radical Religion: Ascetics

31920 • Fall 2013
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM RLM 6.126
(also listed as R S 375S)

Asceticism, as a concept and a way of life, exists in many religious traditions. Ascetics commit to bodily restraints that can be manifold and are practiced at various levels of intensity. From specific food restraints (for example, vegetarianism) to fasting to death; from celibacy to self-castration; from wearing simple robes to going naked; from shaving one’s head to severe self-mutilation; from living in a monastic community to locking one-self in a cell to constant wandering. Using case studies from various religions, this course discusses the concepts, practices, and goals associated with this radical way of life. It also introduces students to scholarly approaches to asceticism, which includes theories of the body and of culture more generally. Other topics discussed in class are the social status of the ascetic; asceticism and gender; asceticism and devotion; and asceticism and violence. Historical examples will be taken primarily from India (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism) and Mediterranean late antiquity (Greek/Roman religions, Christianity, Judaism).

 

Texts:

TBD

 

Grading:

TBD

ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

31650 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM UTC 3.134
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 302)

This course offers a survey of the major religious traditions of Asia (Hinduism, Buddhism in South and East Asia, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto). It focuses on the historical development of their beliefs, practices, rituals, and customs in social context. The course will combine lectures with class discussions on readings.

ANS 340 • History Of Indian Buddhism

31565 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CPE 2.220
(also listed as R S 322)

This course introduces students to the institutional, social, economic, and doctrinal history of Buddhism in India. Emerging in the 5th century B.C.E., Buddhism spread quickly across South Asia. For more than 1500 years it had a significant impact on Indian culture, philosophy, art, architecture, and politics. The course discusses Buddhist teachings, from their earliest formulations to later developments, the spread of Buddhist institutions, and resulting social, political, and economic issues. Finally, we will take a look at the revival of Buddhism in India in the 20th century and its impact on society.

Readings:
Paul Williams, Buddhist Thought
Rupert Gethin, Sayings of the Buddha
Course Packet

Grading
Attendance/participation: 20%
Weekly reading responses: 20%
Oral presentation: 15%
Article for class encyclopedia: 15%
Midterm exam: 15%
Final exam: 15%

 

ANS 384 • Core Reads: Religion In Asia

31720 • Fall 2012
Meets M 4:00PM-7:00PM WCH 4.118
(also listed as R S 393C)

This course discusses key scholarly works on and major approaches to religion in Asia. Its main focus is on pre-modern South Asia and contemporary Japan, but other regions will be considered too. By discussing major groundbreaking works the seminar will familiarize students with the current scholarly discourse, its most pressing questions, a selection of commonly studied areas and topics, and major theoretical and methodological challenges of the field.

 

ANS 301M • Introduction To Buddhism

31645 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GAR 1.126
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 312C)

This course is designed to provide the student with a structural and historical overview of Buddhism through the examination of various schools, doctrines, and religious practices. We will begin our study in India and look at the ways in which the contexts of post-Vedic civilization and orthodox Hinduism made Buddhism possible, and ask the following questions about Buddhism's founder: Who was the "historical Buddha?" What were the factors that led to his enlightenment? What did the Buddha teach, and what didn't he? How was the early Buddhist community structured? We will examine the developments in Theravada and Mahayana (Greater Vehicle) Buddhism and the spread of these two distinctive schools into Southeast and East Asia respectively. We will also study Vajrayana (Diamond Vehicle) Buddhism as it manifested in Tibet. Finally, we will examine the peculiar relationship that Buddhism has had with the West and explore the various ways in which European and American societies have embraced Buddhism and made it their own.

 

Texts

C. S. Prebish / D. Keown, Introducing Buddhism (or: Buddhism - the eBook)
J. Strong, The Experience of Buddhism, 3rd ed.

Grading

Attendance/participation: 20% Three quizzes: 10% ea.Oral presentation: 20%Final exam: 30%

ANS 340 • Intro To Comparative Religion

31696 • Spring 2012
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM BUR 128
(also listed as R S 375S)

This course introduces and discusses major comparative approaches in the study of religion. The act of comparison is as old as religion is. Religious individuals and groups have often compared their beliefs and practices with those of their neighbors, sometimes with a sincere religious interest, sometimes merely to demonstrate the superiority of their own religion. Since the end of the 19th century, scholars of religion sought to develop methods of comparison that were not religiously biased. They asked: What are the differences and the similarities in the religions of the world? Why do religions have the same - or completely different - answers to the same existential questions? Why do they express their beliefs by developing very different - or strikingly similar - practices? This course surveys classical and current approaches to the comparison of religions. The guiding questions are: What are the respective goals of the comparative enterprises? What specific methods are advocated and actually carried out? Should we adopt those goals and methods for our own reflections on religion? The introduction to these issues will be illustrated by numerous examples from the history of religions. Many examples will be taken from Asian religions, but depending on the interests of students in class, we may extend our scope into any direction. In the course of the semester, students will develop individual comparative projects in study groups.

 

Texts

Course packet

Grading

Attendance/participation: 20%, oral presentation: 20%,  project development: 30%, and a final exam: 30%.

ANS 340 • History Of Indian Buddhism

31825 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 306
(also listed as R S 322)

This course introduces students to the institutional, social, economic, and doctrinal history of Buddhism in India. Emerging in the 5th century B.C.E. Buddhism spread quickly across South Asia. For more than 1500 years it had a significant impact on Indian culture, philosophy, art, architecture, and politics. The course discusses Buddhist teachings, from their earliest formulations to later developments, the spread of Buddhist institutions, and resulting social, political, and economic issues. Finally, we will take a look at the revival of Buddhism in India in the 20th century and its impact on society.

TEXTS

  1. Paul Williams, Anthony Tribe. Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition. London: Routledge, 2000.
  2. Sayings of the Buddha: A Selection of Suttas from the Pali Nik?yas. Transl. by Rupert Gethin. Oxford World’s Classics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  3. Course packet. 
  4. Optional: ??ntideva, The Bodhic?ry?vat?ra. A New Translation by Kate Crosby and Andrew Skilton. Oxford World’s Classics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

GRADING

Attendance/participation 20%
Reading responses 20%
Oral presentation 15%
Article for class encyclopedia 15%
Midterm exam 15%
Final exam 15%

ANS 384 • Relig Ident In Premod S Asia

32005 • Spring 2011
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM CAL 21

This graduate seminar examines the construction of religious identity in premodern South Asia. We will discuss how individuals and communities defined their identities as ‘Buddhists’, ‘Brahmins’, ‘Jains’, ‘Muslims’, etc. (or particular variants of such traditions) in certain moments in history. Key questions are: How do the actors cope with the existence of truth-claims and religious practices different from their own? How do they draw boundaries between ‘us’ and ‘them’? What rhetorical methods do they employ in defining insider-outsider relations (rational arguments, polemics, negotiations, etc.)? Are categories such as ‘missionary activity’, ‘religious market’ or ‘conversion’ useful for the analysis of South Asian religions? What types of motivation (religious, economical, political, etc.) for drawing boundaries exist in one particular situation? How does a person’s (or group’s) religious identity relate to their other identities (class, gender, ethnic, linguistic, etc.)? Class readings include primary and secondary texts related to case studies and theoretical works on (religious) identity and alterity.

ANS 301M • Introduction To Buddhism

30630 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM JGB 2.218
(also listed as R S 312C)

This course is designed to provide the student with a structural and historical overview of Buddhism through the examination of various schools, doctrines, and religious practices. We will begin our study in India and look at the ways in which the contexts of post-Vedic civilization and orthodox Hinduism made Buddhism possible, and ask the following questions about Buddhism’s founder: Who was the “historical Buddha?” What were the factors that led to his “enlightenment”? What did the Buddha teach, and what didn’t he? How was the early Buddhist community structured? We will examine the developments in Theravada (also termed “Orthodox” or “Southern”) and Mahayana (“Greater Vehicle”) Buddhism and the spread of these two distinctive schools into Southeast and East Asia respectively. We will also study Vajrayana (“Diamond Vehicle”) Buddhism as it manifested in Tibet. Finally, we will examine the peculiar relationship that Buddhism has had with the West and explore the various ways in which European and American societies have embraced Buddhism and made it their own.

TEXTS:

C. S. Prebish / D. Keown, Introducing Buddhism (or: Buddhism – the eBook)
J. Strong, The Experience of Buddhism, 3rd ed.

GRADING:

Attendance/participation: 20%
Three quizzes: 10% ea.
Oral presentation: 20%
Final exam: 30%

R S 302 • History Of Religions Of Asia

44315 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM JGB 2.102

This course surveys the central beliefs and patterns of life of living religious traditions of Asia. It will focus particularly on the basic texts or narratives of these traditions, on their essential histories, and on the concepts of humanity, the world, and the divine that are distinctive of each. In addition, the course will explore not only what people believe religiously but also what they do religiously.

 

Text:W. Oxtoby & R. Amore, World Religions: Religions of the East, 3rd ed. The Ramayana, retold by R.K. Narayan, The Life of the Buddha (Buddhacarita), translated by Patrick Olivelle, Zhuangzi: Basic Writings, translated by Burton Watson,

 

Grading:Each of three essays on the assigned reading 15%, Midterm exam 20%, Final exam 35%

ANS 340 • History Of Indian Buddhism

31075 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 1.126

Please check back for updates.

ANS 301M • Introduction To Buddhism

30385 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM UTC 3.112

Please check back for updates.

ANS 384 • The Buddha And Non-Buddhists

30625 • Spring 2009
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM UTC 3.120

Study of various aspects and periods of South Asian culture and society.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 340 • Intro To Comparative Religion

31260 • Fall 2008
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM CAL 200

Please check back for updates.

ANS 301M • Introduction To Buddhism

31035 • Spring 2008
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM UTC 1.116

Please check back for updates.

ANS 384 • Asceticism

31270 • Spring 2008
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM UTC 3.120

Study of various aspects and periods of South Asian culture and society.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 340 • Intro To Comparative Religion

31585 • Fall 2007
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM PAR 101

Please check back for updates.

R S 302 • History Of Religions Of Asia

45475 • Fall 2007
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM BUR 116

This course surveys the central beliefs and patterns of life of living religious traditions of Asia. It will focus particularly on the basic texts or narratives of these traditions, on their essential histories, and on the concepts of humanity, the world, and the divine that are distinctive of each. In addition, the course will explore not only what people believe religiously but also what they do religiously.

 

Text:W. Oxtoby & R. Amore, World Religions: Religions of the East, 3rd ed. The Ramayana, retold by R.K. Narayan, The Life of the Buddha (Buddhacarita), translated by Patrick Olivelle, Zhuangzi: Basic Writings, translated by Burton Watson,

 

Grading:Each of three essays on the assigned reading 15%, Midterm exam 20%, Final exam 35%

ANS 384 • Early Buddhist Monasticism

30680 • Spring 2007
Meets W 5:00PM-8:00PM WAG 112

Study of various aspects and periods of South Asian culture and society.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

R S 302 • History Of Religions Of Asia

44085 • Spring 2007
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM UTC 4.104

This course surveys the central beliefs and patterns of life of living religious traditions of Asia. It will focus particularly on the basic texts or narratives of these traditions, on their essential histories, and on the concepts of humanity, the world, and the divine that are distinctive of each. In addition, the course will explore not only what people believe religiously but also what they do religiously.

 

Text:W. Oxtoby & R. Amore, World Religions: Religions of the East, 3rd ed. The Ramayana, retold by R.K. Narayan, The Life of the Buddha (Buddhacarita), translated by Patrick Olivelle, Zhuangzi: Basic Writings, translated by Burton Watson,

 

Grading:Each of three essays on the assigned reading 15%, Midterm exam 20%, Final exam 35%

ANS 340 • Intro To Comparative Religion

29625 • Spring 2006
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM GAR 301

Please check back for updates.

ANS 340 • History Of Buddhism

29130 • Fall 2005
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM UTC 3.110

Please check back for updates.

R S 302 • History Of Religions Of Asia

43405 • Fall 2005
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM UTC 3.102

This course surveys the central beliefs and patterns of life of living religious traditions of Asia. It will focus particularly on the basic texts or narratives of these traditions, on their essential histories, and on the concepts of humanity, the world, and the divine that are distinctive of each. In addition, the course will explore not only what people believe religiously but also what they do religiously.

 

Text:W. Oxtoby & R. Amore, World Religions: Religions of the East, 3rd ed. The Ramayana, retold by R.K. Narayan, The Life of the Buddha (Buddhacarita), translated by Patrick Olivelle, Zhuangzi: Basic Writings, translated by Burton Watson,

 

Grading:Each of three essays on the assigned reading 15%, Midterm exam 20%, Final exam 35%

ANS 340 • Ascet In India/Greco-Rom World

28240 • Spring 2005
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GAR 201

Please check back for updates.

ANS 384 • The Buddha And Non-Buddhists

28465 • Spring 2005
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM CAL 323

Study of various aspects and periods of South Asian culture and society.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 301M • Introduction To Buddhism

28867 • Fall 2004
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM UTC 3.110

Please check back for updates.

Publications


Authored Books

      See short blurbs here.

Edited Books

Articles and Chapters

  • “Modes of Comparison: Towards Creating a Methodological Framework for Comparative Studies.” In: Interreligious Comparisons in Religious Studies and Theology: Comparison Revisited, ed. by Perry Schmidt-Leukel and Andreas Nehring. London: Bloomsbury, 2016. 53–71.
  • “Askese als Begriff: Substanzielle, funktionale und diskursive Perspektiven” [Asceticism as a Concept: Substantive, Functional, and Discursive Perspectives]. Berliner Theologische Zeitschrift 32.1 (2015): 11–33.
  • “Introduction” (with Afe Adogame and Magnus Echtler). In: Alternative Voices: A Plurality Approach for Religious Studies. Essays in Honor of Ulrich Berner. Ed. Afe Adogame, Magnus Echtler, Oliver Freiberger. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013. 9–17.
  • Die deutsche Religionswissenschaft im transnationalen Fachdiskurs ” [German Studies of Religion in the Transnational Disciplinary Discourse]. Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 21.1 (2013): 1–28.
  • “Religionen und Religion in der Konstruktion des frühen Buddhismus” [Religions and Religion in the Construction of Early Buddhism] in: Religion in Asien? Studien zur Anwendbarkeit des Religionsbegriffs. Ed. Peter Schalk, Max Deeg, Oliver Freiberger, Christoph Kleine, and Astrid van Nahl. Uppsala: Uppsala University Press, 2013. 15–41. Online: http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:602914/FULLTEXT03
  • “Der Vergleich als Methode und konstitutiver Ansatz der Religionswissenschaft.” [Comparison as Method and Constitutive Approach in the Study of Religion.] In Religionen erforschen: Kulturwissenschaftliche Methoden in der Religionswissenschaft. Ed. Stefan Kurth and Karsten Lehmann. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2011. 199–218.
  • Was ist das Kanonische am Pāli-Kanon?” [What Makes the Pāli Canon Canonical?] In Kanonisierung und Kanonbildung in der asiatischen Religionsgeschichte. Ed. Max Deeg, Oliver Freiberger, Christoph Kleine. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2011. 209–232.
  • “How the Buddha Dealt with Non-Buddhists.” In Religion and Identity in South Asia and Beyond: Essays in Honor of Patrick Olivelle. Ed. Steven E. Lindquist. London: Anthem Press, 2011. 185–195.
  • Die Gründung des Saṅgha in buddhistischer Historiographie und Hagiographie.” [The Foundation of the Saṅgha in Buddhist Historiography and Hagiography.] In Geschichten und Geschichte: Historiographie und Hagiographie in der asiatischen Religionsgeschichte. Ed. Peter Schalk, Max Deeg, Oliver Freiberger, Christoph Kleine, Astrid van Nahl. Uppsala: Uppsala University Press, 2010. 329–356. Online: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-121402
  • Locating the Ascetic’s Habitat: Toward a Micro-Comparison of Religious Discourses.” History of Religions 50.2 (2010): 162–192.
  • Negative Campaigning: Polemics against Brahmins in a Buddhist Sutta.” Religions of South Asia 3.1 (2009): 61–76.
  • The Disciplines of Buddhist Studies: Notes on Religious Commitment as Boundary-Marker.” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 30 (2007) [2009]: 299–318.
  • “Prestige als Plage: Vergleichende Untersuchungen zu einem asketischen Dilemma.” [Prestige as Worriment: Comparative Studies of an Ascetic Dilemma.] Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft 16 (2008): 83–103.
  • “Akademische Kanonisierung? Zur Erstellung von Anthologien buddhistischer Texte.” [Academic Canonization? On the Compilation of Anthologies of Buddhist Texts.] In Jaina-Itihāsa-Ratna: Studies in Honour of Gustav Roth on the Occasion of his 90th Birthday. Ed. Ute Hüsken, Petra Kieffer-Pülz, Anne Peters. Swisttal-Odendorf: Indica et Tibetica Verlag, 2006. 193–207.
  • “Introduction: The Criticism of Asceticism in Comparative Perspective.” In Asceticism and Its Critics: Historical Accounts and Comparative Perspectives. Ed. Oliver Freiberger. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 3–21.
  • “Early Buddhism, Asceticism, and the Politics of the Middle Way.” In Asceticism and Its Critics: Historical Accounts and Comparative Perspectives. Ed. Oliver Freiberger. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 235–258.
  • “’Ein Vinaya für Hausbewohner’? Norm und Praxis der Laienanhänger im frühen Buddhismus.” [‘A Vinaya for Householders’? Norm and Practice of Lay Adherents in Early Buddhism.] In Im Dickicht der Gebote: Studien zur Dialektik von Norm und Praxis in der Buddhismusgeschichte Asiens. Editor-in-chief: Peter Schalk; Co-editors: Max Deeg, Oliver Freiberger, Christoph Kleine, Astrid van Nahl. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Historia Religionum, 26. Uppsala: Uppsala University Press, 2005. 225–252.
  • Resurrection from the Dead? The Brāhmaṇical Rite of Renunciation and Its Irreversibility.” In Words and Deeds: Hindu and Buddhist Rituals in South Asia. Ed. Jörg Gengnagel, Ute Hüsken, Srilata Raman. Ethno-Indology: Heidelberg Series on South Asian Ritual, 1. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2005. 235–256.
  • “The Buddhist Canon and the Canon of Buddhist Studies.” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 27 (2004): 261–283.
  • “Religion in Mirrors: Orientalism, Occidentalism, and Asian Religions.” Journal of Global Buddhism 4 (2003): 9–17 (online: http://www.globalbuddhism.org).
  • “Religion und Globalisierung im Lichte von Orientalismus und Okzidenta­lis­mus.” [Religion and Globalization in the Light of Orientalism and Occidentalism.] In Religion im Spiegel­kabinett: Asiatische Religionsgeschichte im Spannungsfeld zwischen Orientalismus und Okzidentalismus. Editor-in-chief: Peter Schalk; Co-editors: Max Deeg, Oliver Freiberger, Christoph Kleine. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Historia Religionum, 22. Uppsala: Uppsala University Press, 2003. 63–89.
  • “Salvation for the Laity? Soteriological Concepts in Early and Modern Theravāda Buddhism.” Stvdia Asiatica (Bukarest) 2 (2001): 29–38.
  • “The Meeting of Traditions: Inter-Buddhist and Inter-Religious Relations in the West.” Journal of Global Buddhism 2 (2001): 59–71 (online: http://www.globalbuddhism.org).
  • “Die Bedeutung des Ordens für den Weg zur Erlösung in frühen buddhisti­schen Texten.” [The Meaning of the Monastic Order for the Path to Liberation in Early Buddhist Texts.] In Akten des 27. Deut­schen Orien­tali­stentages (Bonn, 28.9.–2.10.1998) – Norm und Abweichung. Ed. Stefan Wild, Hartmut Schild. Würzburg: Ergon, 2001. 181–191.
  • “Staatsreligion, Reichsreligion oder Nationalreligion? Überlegungen zur Terminologie.” [State Religion, Imperial Religion, or National Religion? Reflections on Terminology.] In Zwischen Säkularismus und Hierokratie: Studien zum Verhältnis von Religion und Staat in Süd- und Ostasien. Editor-in-chief: Peter Schalk; Co-editors: Max Deeg, Oliver Freiberger, Christoph Kleine. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Historia Religionum, 17. Uppsala: Uppsala University Press, 2001. 19–36.
  • “Ist Wertung Theologie? Beobachtungen zur Unterscheidung von Religions­wissenschaft und Theologie.” [Is Making Value Judgments Theology? Observations on Distinguishing Religious Studies and Theology.] In Die Identität der Religionswissenschaft: Beiträge zum Verständnis einer unbekannten Disziplin. Ed. Gebhard Löhr. Frankfurt/M. et al.: Peter Lang, 2000. 97–121.
  • “Profiling the Sangha: Institutional and Non-Institutional Tendencies in Early Buddhist Teachings.” Mar­burg Journal of Religion 5 (2000): 1–12 (online: http://web.uni-marburg.de/religionswissenschaft/journal/mjr/freiberger.html).
  • “The Ideal Sacrifice: Patterns of Reinterpreting Brahmin Sacrifice in Early Buddhism.” Bulletin d'Études Indiennes 16 (1998): 39–49.
  • “Zur Verwendungsweise der Bezeichnung paribbājaka im Pāli-Kanon.” [On the Use of the Term paribbājaka in the Pāli Canon.] In Untersuchun­gen zur buddhisti­schen Literatur II: Gustav Roth zum 80. Geburtstag gewidmet. Ed. Heinz Bechert, Sven Bretfeld, Petra Kieffer-Pülz. Sanskrit-Wörterbuch der buddhistischen Texte aus den Turfan-Funden, Beiheft 8. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1997. 121–130.
  • “Anmerkungen zur Begriffsbildung in der Buddhismusforschung.” [Notes on the Formation of Terms in Buddhist Studies.] In Bauddhavidyāsudhākaraḥ: Studies in Honour of Heinz Bechert on the Occasion of His 65th Birth­day. Ed. Petra Kieffer-Pülz, Jens-Uwe Hartmann. Indica et Tibetica 30. Swisttal-Odendorf: I&T, 1997. 137–152.
  •  “Zur Interpretation der Brahmadaṇḍa-Strafe im buddhistischen Ordensrecht.” [On the Interpretation of the brahmadaṇḍa Penalty in Buddhist Monastic Law.] Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgen­ländischen Gesellschaft 146 (1996): 456–491.
  • “Zum Vergleich zwischen buddhistischem und christlichem Ordenswesen.” [On the Comparison of Buddhist and Christian Monasticism.] Zeitschrift für Religions­wissenschaft 4 (1996): 83–104.

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