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Bhuddism and Psychology: A Hermeneutical Interface (VU Amsterdam Summer School)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Certificate / Diploma Summer course Amsterdam

Course description

Qualification Certificate
Field of study Humanities, social sciences, communication and arts
Course summary Explore Buddhism's reception in and outside of Asia and critically examine how global modernity tends to “psychologize” the sacred and “sacralize” psychology.
Course description In recent times, various forms of Buddhism have emerged from modernizing Asia and globally penetrated new cognitive, spiritual, and cultural domains—many far removed from their origins, geographically as well as epistemically. But how has this happened? What is the nature of "Western" interest in Buddhism? The modernist answer in "the West" has often been to interpret Buddhism in psychological terms and apply a hermeneutical lens, one which often represents a marriage of convenience between Buddhism and psychology. This course thus provides a unique journey of self-discovery, touching on the very core of modern self-understanding in "the West." Students question modernist Buddhist assumptions and even the received wisdom of current Buddhist Studies discourse on the matter, perhaps even fundamentally revising or reframing them. In doing so students explore some of the major Buddhist theories and doctrines and their global resonance, navigate the problematic of first and third person approaches in academia, and articulate the inherent epistemic paradoxes of modernist concepts such as "consciousness" or "immediate experience" in Buddhism.
Study subjects -
Course objectives -
ECTS credits 3.00
Duration 2 week(s)
Language of instruction English
Instruction modes excursion, group discussion, lecture, individual assignment, literature study, self study
Accreditation -

About the institution

Department -
Information about the institution Ever since it was founded in 1880, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has been known for its distinctive approach to knowledge. VU is an open organization, strongly linked to people and society.


Admission requirements
Language requirements
Professional experience required -
Duration 2 week(s)
Application deadlines
Start date EU/EEA Students Non-EU/EEA students
6 Jul 2019 1 May 2019 -
Tuition fees
Year EU/EEA Non-EU/EEA Institutional
2019 (FT)€ 1150€ 1150€ 1150

In short, the following rules apply:

  • The “EU/EEA rate” is the regular fee for students from within the EU/EEA.
  • The “non-EU/EEA rate” is the rate for students from outside the EU/EEA.
  • The “institutional rate” is for all students who have already obtained a bachelor’s or master’s degree and who want to start a second programme leading to a degree at the same level or at a lower level.
  • Note that FT, PT and D stand for "full-time", "part-time" and "dual", respectively.

Make sure you contact your institution to find out what rate applies to you. The rates listed here are estimates.



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study info

Telephone number +31 (0)205986429
Course website More information about the course
Institution website More information about the institution