Note: The Asian Religions and Healing Certificate is currently not being offered this semester, but will be offered again in the future. If you are interested in the program and would like to be contacted when the courses become available again, please leave your contact information here.
The Boston University Online Graduate Certificate in Asian Religions and Healing (ARH) consists of four required online courses. Interested students have the option of taking all four courses required to earn the graduate certificate, or simply registering for the courses that interest them most. The four required courses can be completed in less than eight months.
Visit the Boston University Online Course Schedule to view all current
and upcoming courses, or see the Calendar and Fees specific to the ARH
Asian religions have increasingly become part of our life, and numerous practitioners, both immigrant and Western, are actively engaged in them today. In this course we examine Asian religions in their theoretical and practical dimensions, focusing especially on their visions and methods regarding physical health and spiritual wholeness. Over seven weeks we look at the history, sacred texts, concepts, and contemporary practices of five Asian religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto. In each case we strive to understand how followers understand the human condition and how they hope to transform and/or transcend it. [4 cr.]
Asian religions have a long history of anchoring spiritual growth in the transformation of the body, which they see in a radically different way from Western understanding: as a network of energy centers and flowing channels, of multiple-layered sheaths and divine residences. They have accordingly developed a plethora of cultivation methods that involve the major ways of absorbing and releasing energy in the body: through food, breath, physical movement, and sexual interaction. In this class we learn about the body geography of traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, then study the body cultivation practices of Yoga and Daoism, in all cases relating the practical methods to traditional cosmology and Western scientific understanding. [4 cr.]
Meditation is a method of mental focus that suspends critical thinking and creates deep concentration, receptive mindfulness, bodily awareness, and creative visualization for the purpose of finding a deeper truth within oneself and/or discovering the ultimate reality of the universe. It has positive effects on emotions and physiology and can be used for healing as well as for religious salvation. In our study, we begin by looking at the fundamental definitions, social setting, and common aspects of meditation. Then we examine six specific forms: Yoga, Mantra, Insight, Zen, Tantra, and Daoist inner alchemy. We come to understand how each of these accesses the subconscious mind in its specific way, connects to a different Asian tradition, and has its unique religious goals and soteriological concepts. [4 cr.]
Death is an inescapable fact of life, and all religious traditions attempt to come to grips with it. This course examines death in light of the ways people, and especially the followers of Asian religions, have attempted to accept, deny, defeat, or transcend it. In this class, we begin with an initial discussion on understanding attitudes toward death, the process of dying, right-to-die issues, funerals, mourning, and grief. Then we look at afterlife concepts in terms of four models: materialism, the eternal soul, spiritism, and reincarnation. We conclude with an examination of immortality in theory, practice, and fiction. [4 cr.]