Tradition and Change

Subject Code: 


  Lecture Date Census Date Location

Semester 2 2016 26-30 Sept 2016 27 September NTI Wollongong Campus

‘Tradition and Change’ is a comprehensive survey of Buddhism from its early beginnings to the present day. It gives students an insight into the origins and the spread of Buddhism across Asia and beyond.

The subject familiarises students with the rich spectrum of Buddhist traditions and schools of philosophy, and gives an overview of their developments from the early beginnings till the present day. Special attention is given to the rich variety of Buddhist practices, particularly to meditation.

The lectures provide a comprehensive survey of tradition and change in Buddhist thought and practices throughout history, while specific topics (such as politics, gender issues, society and environment in Buddhist context) are investigated through film viewing, seminars, group discussions and projects.

Exploration of various facets of Buddhism will provide an opportunity for deeper appreciation and understanding of Buddhism as a living tradition, which is expanding fast beyond Asia and becoming a transnational religion of the 21st century.

Students will

  • Develop a critical understanding of the beliefs, world-views and practices underlying the principal Buddhist traditions.
  • Critically evaluate and reflect on the rich spectrum of doctrines and practices which have developed throughout the history of Buddhism in its many schools.
  • Understand and situate the role and function of Buddhism in a variety of cultures of Asia through exploration of various social aspects such as gender roles, class and politics.
  • Critically analyse fundamental historical conditions involved in the continuation and change in Buddhism.
  • Develop an ability to understand the wide range of profound transformations and new paradigms arising from modern Buddhism.
  • Evolve attributes such as critical thinking, problem solving, cultural and historical appreciation, interdisciplinary perspective,  and scholarship.

Who is it for?

‘Tradition and Change: Buddhism from its’ early beginnings to the 21st Century’  is ideal for:

  • any student in NTI’s postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or Masters program in Applied Buddhist Studies
  • academics, teachers, publishers, librarians
  • anyone interested in history, religion and/or philosophy
  • Buddhism devotees and anyone interested in learning more about Buddhism.


Preliminary reading
1 week - 19 - 25 September  2016

Lectures and workshops (5 day intensive on-campus)
26 – 30 September 2016 (9:00am - 5:00pm daily)

3 weeks - Final assigments due 21 October 2016


Attendance and class participation

Lecture week


Seminar paper, presented orally in class and in writing (400-500 words)

Lecture week


Film review (1,000 - 1,500 words)

7 October 2016


Research paper (2,000 - 2,500 words)

21 October 2016



'Tradition and Change: Buddhism from its early beginnings to the 21st Century' can be taken as a non-award subject, or as part of the NTI Applied Buddhist Studies postgraduate program.

This 6 credit point subject can be an elective in:

Master of Arts (Applied Buddhist Studies)

72 credit points

Graduate Diploma of Applied Buddhist Studies

48 credit points

Graduate Certificate in Applied Buddhist Studies

24 credit points

Study costs/scholarships

The total subject cost is $1,250.00 for Domestic students, and $1,600.00 for International students.

Australian Students are eligible for an automatic $200.00 scholarship subsidy and
International Students are eligible for an automatic $400.00 scholarship subsidy:

Total cost:

Australian students


International students


Entry requirements

There are no prerequisites to study this subject as a non-award student. Buddhists and non-Buddhists are welcome, however basic Buddhism foundation knowledge is assumed.

There are academic and/or program and work experience prerequisites for studying this subject as part of the NTI Applied Buddhist Studies program. Contact NTI for details on entry requirements.