Chinese Buddhist philosophy in a nutshell

Course Dates: 07/03/22 - 28/03/22
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: Online
"Every blade of grass, tree, pebble, and particle of dust is perfectly endowed with buddha nature …” — Zhanran. “If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha” — Linji.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £30.00

Course Code: HP119

Mon, eve, 07 Mar - 28 Mar '22

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

As Buddhism was absorbed into China, it acquired a different orientation to that of its Indian progenitors. Several key schools emerged: Tiantai (heavenly platform), Huayan (flower garland) and Chan (meditation), each of which developed Buddhist philosophy and practice in different directions. How do these schools differ and what are the philosophical implications of their different emphases in Buddhist thought?

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

The principal ideas of the major schools of Chinese Buddhism will be examined and contrasted with each other.

Tiantai school, the Lotus Sutra and Buddha nature — the thinking of Zhiyi and Zhanran.
Huayan school, the Flower Garland Sutra and the idea of universal interdependence of all things.
Chan/Zen school — Linji, sudden awakening using non-rational means.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Discuss, simply, the key emphases of the Tiantai, Huayan and Chán schools.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Introductory. Interest in philosophy, and Buddhist and Chinese philosophy in particular, but no level required.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will run in a seminar format, with slides presentations incl. Q&A and discussion. Materials will be available via Google Classroom. No work outside of class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

No other costs.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You might be interested in HP112 - Wisdom in Zen, Daoism and western philosophy, starting in May 2022. Please see for the full range of philosophy courses on offer.

John Goff Tutor Website

From reading Philosophy at a young age to the formal study of Cognitive Science, Philosophy & Psychology at the Universities of London and Sussex - after a prior career in video-arts - John Goff has been presenting philosophy courses to adults since the early 2000s. He uses a cross-disciplinary, seminar-based approach in his courses, drawing on Philosophy, Psychology and the wider Humanities & Social Sciences with an emphasis on the intersection of contemporary and classical European and Asian philosophical thought. He is the author of several works of philosophical fiction concerning artificial minds and organisms and alternative-human worlds including the novel 'The Last Days of the Most Hidden Man' and the novellas 'Eidopolis', 'Agents of Erasure' and 'Jupiter|Saturn'. His academic writings can be found on his page at ''.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.