Religious Studies with Language // Master of Arts

Naropa University

Program Description

Religious Studies with Language // Master of Arts

Naropa University

The Naropa University master's degree in Religious Studies with Language gives you the enhanced option of adding the two-year study of Sanskrit and/or Tibetan to your graduate program.

Offering the same concentrations as the Religious Studies MA—Contemplative Religions and Indo-Tibetan Buddhism—the Religious Studies with Language masters allows you to finish your degree in two years (though many students opt to take three) while providing you with the chance to learn Sanskrit—the language of Buddhism and yoga—and Tibetan, which opens the remarkable world of Buddhist literature and teachings.

Choosing to study Sanskrit, Tibetan, or both is a compelling choice if you are interested in pursuing doctoral studies or research in a field where these languages can inform your work.

Contemplative Religions with Language Concentration

This MA degree includes all the course work of the MA Religious Studies degree with the Contemplative Religions concentration, and is enriched by training in either Sanskrit or Tibetan through two years (16 credits) of course work or more. This 61-credit concentration is designed for students who wish to join the academic study of comparative religions with interreligious dialogue, contemplative practice, and personal investigation. Students develop literacy in the living practice traditions of a variety of world religions, with special emphasis on integrating the mystical contemplative dimension with the teachings and other aspects of the traditions, as well as on learning interreligious dialogue skills for communicating across religious differences in an environment of global pluralism. Students work with faculty members who are both academically and spiritually trained in the teachings and practices of their respective traditions.

Sanskrit

As the classical language of South Asia, Sanskrit is the lingua franca of Budhhist and Hindu religious traditions throughout Asia. The Sanskrit language option provides students with a knowledge of Sanskrit grammar and vocabulary, as well as initial reading knowledge, providing access to the world of Buddhist and Hindu texts.

Tibetan

Study of the Tibetan language provides access to the rich and diverse world of Tibetan Buddhist literature, to the oral teachings of contemporary Tibetan masters, and to a great body of Indian texts that survive only in Tibetan translation. The Tibetan language option provides training in both classical Tibetan and the spoken language. Study of classic Tibetan involves learning grammar and vocabulary of the classical language and the reading of texts. Modern Tibetan is learned through the study of the contemporary idiom with practice in hearing and speaking Tibetan.

Culminating Requirements

The degree program concludes with an oral comprehensive exam as well as a master’s paper or project, which can include a translation of Sanskrit or Tibetan.

Indo-Tibetan Buddhism with Language Concentration

The 61-credit MA Religious Studies with Language program with the Indo-Tibetan Buddhism concentration offers two emphases: History of Religions and Tibetan Tradition. This MA degree includes all the course work of the MA Religious Studies degree with the Indo-Tibetan Buddhism concentration, and is enriched by training in either Sanskrit or Tibetan through two years (16 credits) of course work or more. This degree surveys Indian and Tibetan Buddhism with emphasis on textual and meditative lineages, integrating study and practice each semester, with the added dimension of exploring Buddhist texts beyond the filter of a particular English translation through language study. The faculty includes Western-trained academics and acharyas (master teachers) steeped in Tibetan Buddhist practice, as well as English-speaking Tibetan lamas extensively trained in their own traditions.

Sanskrit

As the classical language of South Asia, Sanskrit is the lingua franca of Buddhist and Hindu religious traditions throughout Asia. The Sanskrit language option provides students with a knowledge of Sanskrit grammar and vocabulary, as well as initial reading knowledge, providing access to the world of Buddhist and Hindu texts.

Tibetan

Study of the Tibetan language provides access to the rich and diverse world of Tibetan Buddhist literature, to the oral teachings of contemporary Tibetan masters, and to a great body of Indian texts that survive only in Tibetan translation. The Tibetan Language option provides training in both classical Tibetan and the spoken language. Study of classic Tibetan involves learning grammar and vocabulary of the classical language and the reading of texts. Modern Tibetan is learned through the study of the contemporary idiom with practice in hearing and speaking Tibetan.

Two Emphases: History of Religions or Tibetan Tradition

For their second academic year, students choose either the History of Religions or Tibetan Tradition emphasis.

History of Religions Emphasis

The History of Religions emphasis has been developed by Naropa’s core faculty over the past thirty years and investigates the Buddhist tradition in light of its many dimensions in culture: textual, historical, artistic, and meditative. “History of Religions” refers to academic study that values religion, in this case Buddhism, as an expression of cultures over time, manifesting in literature, the arts, social institutions, traditions of saints, ethics and philosophy, and myth and symbol. While History of Religions introduces critical methods of contemporary scholarship, such as textual analysis and phenomenology, at the forefront is the exploration of the richness of religious imagination and practice.

Tibetan Tradition Emphasis

In the Tibetan Tradition emphasis, students acquire the systematic foundation in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism that students receive in a traditional Tibetan monastic college (shedra), utilizing a blend of traditional and Western styles of pedagogy, based on the materials, teaching methods, and forms of analytical meditation developed at Nitartha Institute since its founding in 1996 by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. Presenting all Three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma, these courses emphasize the union of view, meditation, and conduct, and utilize elements of the History of Religions methods described above. (For background information, see www.nitarthainstitute.org.)

The course of study of the Tibetan Tradition emphasis includes attending a monthlong summer program of Nitartha Institute between the first and second years of the degree program.

Tibetan Language Teacher Training Program

Each year, a top student is chosen from the third-year Tibetan language students to help a faculty member teach Tibetan I and II. The student must be concurrently enrolled in Tibetan V and VI.

Tibetan Apprenticeships

Students who have excelled in two semesters of Tibetan may apply for a research assistant position with the Tsadra Foundation Research Center in Boulder. If applicants also have studied Sanskrit, that is a plus, but not required. Students who have completed at least four Tibetan courses are eligible to apply to the Nalanda Translation Committee Apprenticeship program, which provides funding for a year (or more) for further Tibetan language training with the translation committee after they complete their degree.

Culminating Requirements

The degree program concludes with an oral comprehensive exam as well as a master’s paper or project, which can include a translation of Sanskrit or Tibetan.

This school offers programs in:
  • English


Last updated October 5, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept., 2017
Duration
Duration
2 - 3 years
Part time
Price
Price
22,570 USD
Information
Deadline
Start date Sept., 2017
Place
USA Boulder, Colorado
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 2 - 3 years
Price 22,570 USD