Are these concepts important in any Mahayana Buddhist schools?

Choose one of the following sūtras of Mahāyāna Buddhism:
1. The Heart Sūtra; 2. The Lotus Sūtra; 3. The Flower Garland Sūtra; 4. The Diamond Sūtra; 5.The Platform Sūtra
Your content should include:
1. Historical and religious
Briefly introduce the historical background of the sūtra. Who were the authors and translators?
When was it written and translated? Which version is the most commonly used? What language
is this version in? Where did it become popular? Was this sūtra popular in one particular school
of Mahayana Buddhism, or in Mahayana Buddhism in general? If yes, since when? Why did it
become popular? Was it popular among rulers, Buddhist monks, or lay devotees?
2. Religious and textual
Analyzing the content: what is the sūtra about? What is the textual structure of the sūtra? Is this
sūtra a homogeneous or heterogeneous text? Who are the main characters in the sūtra? For
example, what are the relationships between the Buddha, different Bodhisattvas and other beings?
What are the forms of the sūtra, personal stories, witness account, dialogue and debate, scenery
description, mantra, or a mix of different types of literature? How are time and space represented
in the sūtra? Is there a common theme throughout the text? Are chapters in coherent order?
What are the key concepts of the sūtra? How are these concepts related to each other, and how
do they reflect the general teachings of the sūtra? Are these concepts important in any Mahayana
Buddhist schools? How? Are there any practical issues related to rituals and daily life behaviors
regulated in the sūtra?
3. Cultural and artistic
In Buddhist art and in popular culture, from ancient to modern times, what are the representative
Buddhist artworks or popular cultural products related to the sūtra, either representing the sūtra
as a whole, or any concepts, terms, characters, and scenes from the sūtra? As for Buddhist
artworks, you might talk about famous paintings, manuscripts, printed works, grottoes, temple
architectures, etc. As for popular cultural products, you might talk about vernacular terms in
modern language (developed from Buddhist terms), social gestures (developed from Buddhist
rituals), performing arts, media, films, etc…….
Your paper should:
· 6 pages.
· double spaced.
· academic sources only. Sources outside of course reading list are allowed. I prefer if you use more primary sources than secondary sources.
· you must present a clear thesis or position on an issue and support it with citations. At
least three citations are required.
· has a clear organization: begin with an introduction that restates the paper topic and
presents your conclusions as specifically as possible.
· front-load: provide the thesis or the central point first before supporting it with evidence.
· develop arguments in a coherent, compelling way, where all information and description
presented is tied to your arguments and each paragraph contributes to relevant argument.
· avoid mere description.
· has correct English spelling and grammar. No foreign language allowed.
· be written for an academic audience.
Your paper must be submitted:
· in printed hard copy (prefer double-sided), stapled. No handwritten copy will be accepted.
· have a title in the first page. Do not use a cover page.
· include your full name and course number in the header.
· use a 12 pt font that is easy to read (preferably Times New Roman), with one inch
· include page number in the central bottom of each page.
· include a bibliography / reference list at the end of the paper in a separate page (not in the
6 page limit).
· use Chicago Author-Date citation style with in-line references, supplemented by
footnotes where necessary. Do not use endnotes.
· citations must include page numbers and follow summary or direct quotation.