If you have always wanted to learn about Buddhism but put the idea off because you were unable to find readily available and reliable materials, Harvard is currently offering a full, free online course on it, so celebrate!
Most times, we are unable to fulfill the things we ever wanted to do, be it travel or education because we didn’t have the money. Travel and Education are, of course, the two basic things that have the special ability to change and improve our lives. Education though is suffering especially as the current college debt crisis is at its highest level. Debts on student loans in the US, for example, have tripled rapidly to $1.23 trillion.
Looking at this number, today, we may say that learning for learning sake and not for a career seems like a silly idea, and is seen as a luxury that can be afforded by few people. This issue of the disparity between learning to get rich and learning to enrich is a modern tragedy. This makes Harvard’s decision to offer a great, free, online course on Buddhism, plausible.
No matter the level of education in which you are - college or pre-college, there’s a certain great and empowering feeling about learning something because it interests you and you want to know more about it and because it is free!
Harvard University’s free online course known as “Buddhism Through Its Scriptures” is no longer an interactive one but when you register, you will have access to rich lecture and supplementary materials to learn as much as you want.This course is taught by Harvard Divinity School’s Professor Charles Hallisey, who is equally the current Yehan Numata Senior Lecturer handling Buddhist Literature. The Introductory course is designed in such a way that it will be of benefit to both an experienced practitioner of the religion and a total novice. The student is expected to devote between 6 to 10 hours every week over a 4-week period.
Professor Hallisey stated that he hopes that people of different backgrounds will have access to the course so that they will be able to engage in constructive interaction on the often divisive topics. His ideology about the course makes it as much attractive as because it is free. He said he hopes the course will equip people to be open-minded as this will teach them how to learn more and cope with different perspectives.
On the unique way that his syllabus will teach the course, he said that when the help of Buddhist heritages is sought for answers on Buddhist scriptures, the mind is opened to the ability to learn from Buddhism as much as learning about it. He emphasized that open-mindedness does not mean that Buddhist interpretations will not have to be questioned, but that it’s to find out that the Buddhist scriptures already have answers to all the questions we have about our existence as human beings and about the world where we live.
Read our eBook “What is Buddhism?” if you are interested in learning more about Buddhism.