Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Mindfulness


Course Objective

Students know and understand both the origins and deep history of
mindfulness as well as its wider contemporary applications, especially
in health care and spiritual care.
Students can compare classical Buddhist perspectives on mindfulness with
newly emerging insights from the philosophy, history and science of
Students can analyze, reflect on, and interpret psychological,
religious, medical, neuroscientific and cognitive science-perspectives
on mindfulness.
Students can analyze, reflect on and interpret the confluence of
Buddhist and Western epistemologies that is inherent in the meeting of
mindfulness with modern culture, and are able to identify potential
conflicts as well as possibilities for synergy.
Students are aware of and can discern their own particular viewpoint on
mindfulness, can relate that viewpoint to their own backgrounds,
traditions and biases, and are able to make their angles transparent,
flexible and fruitful rather than disconcerting, stubborn or distorting.

Course Content

Integrating mindfulness-based approaches into medicine, psychology,
neuroscience, health care, spiritual care, education, business
leadership, and other major societal institutions has become a
burgeoning field. This rapidly growing interest in mainstream
contemporary applications of ancient meditative practices raises
philosophical questions that will be addressed in this course from a
philosophy of religion-perspective.
This course offers an overview of the interchanges, reflections and
collective conversations between various disciplines that characterize
this new and promising field.

Teaching Methods

Interactive class. Students prepare text-analyses; findings are peered
before class, and presented and discussed in class. Teacher leads
discussion, feedbacks presentations and introduces academic discussions
on the subject matter.

Method of Assessment

Presentation in class (20%), participation, peer-review and discussion
(10%), and a final paper (70%).


Mindfulness: Diverse Perspectives on its Meaning, Origins and
Applications, ed. by Mark Williams and Jon Kabat-Zinn (2013)
The Healing Power of Meditation: Leading Experts on Buddhism, Psychology
and Medicine Explore the Health Benefits of Contemplative Practice, ed.
by Andy Fraser (2013).
Jeff Wilson, Mindful America: The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist
Meditation and American Culture (2014).
Bhikkhu Analayo, Sattipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization (2006)
Various articles on Canvas.

Target Audience

Master students from the faculty of Theology and other faculties

Recommended background knowledge

Basic knowledge of Buddhism.

General Information

Course Code G_IPM
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Religion and Theology
Course Coordinator prof. dr. A.F.M. van der Braak
Examiner prof. dr. A.F.M. van der Braak
Teaching Staff prof. dr. A.F.M. van der Braak

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

This course is also available as: