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Hello dear, prospective students!

Whether you are applying for this application season, or just beginning to consider your options for graduate study, we would like to introduce you to a few of the many compelling classes offered here at HDS through a series of blog posts that will stretch through this semester and into the next. We hope to bring you beyond the class descriptions given on the website to give you genuine accounts from students enrolled in these courses (though you should still check out the class descriptions for these courses as they are rather informative and thoughtfully constructed).

Our first course in the series, Quests for Wisdom: Religious, Moral and Aesthetic Experiences in the Art of Living, is co-taught by five spectacular professors whose specialties range from China, to Mesoamerica, and Christianity. These include HDS professors Davíd Carrasco and Stephanie Paulsell, as well as anthropology professors Arthur Kleinman and Michael Puett, whose course on ancient Chinese philosophy was featured in this Atlantic article. All four professors are lecturers of exceptional skill who challenge, entertain, and perplex.

The diverse array of professor specialties allows unique insight to arise from multiple, intersecting angles. Each week one of the five professors addresses a particular topic inspired by the quest for wisdom. Then, another professor responds to the first, allowing students to see the ways that wisdom interacts between cultures, ideas, and people. The professor and respondent then take questions from students, spurring compelling discussion. So far, we have explored the theme of “home” through Toni Morrison’s novel “Home,” engaged discussions about the power and function of ritual, watched the movie Of Gods and Men as a class, and have had two phenomenal guest speakers, including Coach Tommy Amaker and Holocaust survivor Judith Sherman. Truly, there is no boredom here.

Each class session has changed the way I view the world, even when I don’t immediately realize it. If you have ever read a novel, or a scripture, and have later found its truths revealed to you in the world, you might have an idea of the type of mind-changing atmosphere this class has to offer.

If you are able to pay us a visit this semester, you can register to visit the course here. It takes place from 2PM to 4PM on Wednesday evenings.

With care,

Mikaela Allen

MTS candidate 2019

Buddhist Studies