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Buddhist Stuff: Material Culture and Worldly Desire

REL 382/EAS 382

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Our world is filled with stuff. Some people have too much. Others want more. Advertisers promise happiness through possessions, while psychologists tell us there's a limit to how much pleasure wealth can bring. Meanwhile trash heaps overflow, creating environmental disasters. How do we live in a material world? Do objects bring us happiness or cause hardship? What is the value of stuff? This class explores how Buddhists have responded to these questions over the last 2,500 years through readings as well as hands-on learning using rare books and precious works of art in the Princeton University Art Museum and Library collections.
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Section S01