GEF 1008 Buddhist ethics: conflicts and dilemmas in modern world
Instructor: Mr. HAU Chung Wai
Does Buddhism mean a religion of introspective withdrawal from the world today? Do monks and Buddhists only live a secluded way of life in forest monasteries? Can Buddhist doctrines and ethics like loving-kindness and compassion developed two thousand years ago in India support the idea of global ethics under globalization? This course provides students with an overview of traditional Buddhist values and how Engaged Buddhism responds to the ethical issues concerning the balance between individual and society in the contemporary context, like human rights, social justice, and sexual equality. Cases of Engaged Buddhism in Asia and the West are to be investigated not only for the purpose of developing a deeper understanding on how Buddhism is responding to contemporary challenges but also for examining its limitations in the light of global ethics. The course will include short and provocative lectures. Students will be asked to consider questions regarding ethics on life and death, social justice, economics, bioengineering, and sex, etc. In the process, students will learn how to reflect on their own feelings, cultural biases, different interpretations and personal life experiences.
GEF 1008 Course Outline
GEF1009 Faith and Reason
Instructor: Dr. YIM Chi Sing
This course aims at exploring religions with a philosophical approach. By studying a number of controversial religious doctrines, the relationship between religious beliefs and reasoning as found in various traditions will be critically examined. Examples of religious questions to be examined include whether it is possible for human beings to know who God is; whether God exists; whether religious experience is justifiable; and whether religious belief is only a personal and arbitrary matter. How about the phenomenological realities of “self” or the “soul”, and of the Evil? Did or does the all-powerful and all-loving God create evil? As such, this course seeks to clarify the relationship between religious beliefs and reasoning. It will deepen one’s appreciation of the relations between Reason and Faith. The students will be enabled to come up with their own justifiable understanding about the nature of religion and religious beliefs and their positions in the social and the transcendental aspects of human life as observable across cultural traditions.
GEF 1009 Course Outline
GEF 1012 Truth and Falsity: Critical Thinking
Instructor: Mr. HO Man Kit, Raymond
This course introduces ways of critical thinking in differentiating between truth and falsity in the logical sense. Logico-linguistic analysis, identification, and evaluation of arguments, logic and fallacies will be extensively and critically examined with the use of everyday examples, including arguments made between friends, family members, teachers, policymakers, critics of mass media, and debates made by different social parties.
GEF 1012 Course Outline
GEF 1015 Buddhist Paths to Liberation in Modern Life: Happiness, Wisdom, and Enlightenment
Instructor: Mr. HAU Chung Wai
The terms Nibbana, Buddha and Enlightenment which are core concepts in Buddhism have been used in contemporary popular culture in the West in the past few decades. What are the real meanings? How much can they be related to our lives in the contemporary world? This course aims to expose students to the changes of Buddhist thoughts and practices along historical changes, and the revelations to modern life. Drawing from literature of ancient and contemporary Buddhist texts, students will understand the core concepts, thoughts, meanings and specific practices in different era such as Nibbana in early Buddhism, Being a Buddha in Mahayana Buddhism and Enlightenment in Chan/Zen (禪), and the applications in ‘real-life’ context, including daily life schedule, food, diet, life and death and customs.
The course will draw extensively on students’ live experiences. The most important goal of the course is to help students to develop the awareness of the varieties and diversities of Buddhist practice to deal with daily life issues in modern world.
The course will include short and provocative lectures. Students will be required to undertake article reading, class discussions, debates, visits and group research projects. Students will be asked to consider questions regarding different Buddhist practice, etc. In the process, students will learn how to express their own feelings, interpretations and
personal live experiences.
GEF 1015 Course Outline
GEG1024 Food, Culture and Lifestyle
Instructor: Mr. FUNG Chi Ching
Why do Chinese eat pork but Jewish don’t? Why Asians eat insects but Americans don’t? Why do many people prefer unhealthy fast foods? This course aims to expose students to interdisciplinary perspectives on food culture in our globalised society. Drawing on literature from anthropology, sociology, and nutrition, the course will ask students to examine food culture in our lives, and to critically assess personal, cultural, social and policy debates toward food choice and dinning habit. One specific objective will help students understand food culture in different perspectives and issues: including nutrition, taste and pleasure, religion and taboo, custom and cultural meaning, art and medicine, politics, food safety, fair trade and right of consumers. Moreover, students will be encouraged to explore the relationship between food culture and social change including industrialization and globalization. The course will draw extensively on students’ life experiences and help students develop the awareness of food choice in the globalised world.
GEG 1024 Course Outline
GEG 2047 Spirituality, Health and Well-being in the Modern World
Instructor: Dr. HO Wing Hon
Nowadays more people identify themselves as spiritual instead of religious. Moreover, the significance of spirituality has been rediscovered and involved in health, healing and education professionals in the past decades. In other words, apart from technical aspects of medicine and surgery, spirituality is considered as a key role played in enhancing the quality of life, health and well-being in different cultural contexts. In this course, theories of spirituality in health care contexts, and relationships between body, mind and spirit will be reviewed. Different dimensions of wellness in spiritual approaches such as mindfulness practice will also be explored. Apart from lectures, sharing with guests and practitioners, visits will be arranged for a comprehensive understanding of the topics. Students will be enabled to adopt a healthy lifestyle, construct ethical and thoughtful responses to issues between body, mind and spirit in today’s globalised world, and bring a global awareness of and perspective on issues of quality of life, mental health, fitness and stress-reduction.
GEG 2047 Course Outline
CSL 1026 Religions in Hong Kong: Experience and Reality
The advance of technology in modern society has permanently changed the outlook of the world, surrogate motherhood, the technology of drone strike, the emergence of mobile gadgets, and social communication networks, etc. have made humankind rethink the meaning of their collective existence. Yet, rather than concealing human beings from their metaphysical concerns and questions, the emergence of the new outlook has only brought them closer to the questions, such as the existence of Gods, the purpose of life and death, and the sense of identity that human beings share with their ancestors, land and cultures. In contemporary society, religion still carries deep significance to believers and non-believers alike, representing an aspect of inquiry which is distinct from science or other humanities subjects. In this course, we will provide an emphatic study of the variety of beliefs and practices maintained by major religions in Hong Kong. We will enable students to acquire a subjective experience of participating in the activities of particular religions. Most important, students will discover how this experience affects the way in which followers of different religions understand the world, and relate to one another, in the context of a world, where technological advancement has permanently altered the way of our lives.
Professional Development Programme in Hong Kong Life Education
Programme Co-ordinator: Mr. Li Chin Wa (Co-Director, CRSE) and
Dr. Kong Ho Man Raymond (Project Manager, CRSE)
Programme Aims The program aims to facilitate teachers to understand the ideas and practices of Life Education (LE), including experiences in developing relevant concepts and professional trainings for teachers in LE in the neighboring regions as well as Hong Kong, so that the teachers could be equipped to effectively foster and implement LE in schools, and eventually to enhance the children and teenager’s resilience to cope with various challenges with different life skills.