This course gives a general introduction to the diverse ideals, practices, traditions and historical evolution of Buddhism in South, Southeast Central, East Asia and even in the West. Exploring Buddhism as a living tradition, it focuses on the impact and interpretation of Buddhism in historical and contemporary cultures. Some of the questions investigated in this course include: What are enlightenment and nirvana? Why and how do Buddhists meditate? Can Buddhism in different regions be conceived of as a homogenous tradition? Meanwhile, some of the recurring themes in Buddhism will also be discussed.