Faculty Profile

Dan Cozort

Associate Professor of Religion (1988)

Contact Information

cozort@dickinson.edu

East College Room 206
717.245.2548972
http://sites.google.com/site/danielcozort/

Bio

Dan Cozort grew up in North Dakota, where he ran cross-country and track and was a successful debater and extemporaneous speaker. At Brown University he majored in religious studies, specializing in Christian theology and ethics. He first encountered Buddhism at the Providence Zen Center and after moving to Virginia, entered graduate study at the University of Virginia, where he studied with Tibetan lamas. He did a year of fieldwork in India, traveling broadly and staying in Tibetan monasteries. His teaching career began with a two-year appointment at Bates College in Maine. Coming to Dickinson in 1988, he proposed that the College join the South India Term Abroad consortium, which he directed in Madurai, south India, in 1992-93. In 1991 he organized the Festival of Tibet at Dickinson, which included an art exhibit he curated and was the initial occasion in which Tibetan monks constructed a Buddhist sand painting in the Trout Gallery. The monks returned in 1995 to construct another; he collaborated with Prof. Lonna Malmsheimer on a film to document it. In 2000 he began to teach in the Norwich Humanities Programme in England and in 2003-2005 he was its resident director. Prof. Cozort’s teaching is principally in the area of comparative religion, where he offers courses on Buddhism and Hinduism. However, he has also taught about Native American religions, about love and sex in relation to religion, about happiness, and has taught a variety of courses in the theory of religious studies. Currently in addition to introductory courses, he frequently offers “Contemplative Practices in Asia,” “Buddhism and the Environment,” and “Spiritual Dimensions of Healing,” a course on the relation of religion and medicine. He is the author of six books: Highest Yoga tantra, Buddhist Philosophy, Unique Tenets of the Middle Way Consequence School, Sand Mandala of Vajrabhairava, Sadhana of Mahakala, and Enlightenment Through Imagination. He has also written numerous book chapters and articles and a film script. Since 2006, he has been the Editor of the Journal of Buddhist Ethics, and he is currently editing the Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics.

Education

  • B.A., Brown University, 1976
  • M.A., University of Virginia, 1983
  • Ph.D., 1989

2013-2014 Academic Year

Fall 2013

RELG 121 What is Hinduism?
A study of the dominant religion of south Asia that focuses on the contemporary "embodiment" of religion in culture. This course will explore ways in which religion permeates the Hindu cycle of life, shapes choices such as occupation and marriage partner, and infuses Indian arts. It will ask whether the variation in these patterns over time, among regions of India, in city and country, and among different groups, are diverse "Hinduisms" that nevertheless contain a vital unity.

RELG 226 Yoga: Theory and Practice
Buddhism, Hinduism, and Daoism have ancient and rich traditions of spiritual practices. This course will examine methods of mind training and the philosophy that undergirds them. Prerequisite: 121, 122, or permission of instructor.

RELG 311 Buddhism and the Environment
Cross-listed with ENST 311-02.

ENST 311 Buddhism and the Environment
Cross-listed with RELG 311-01. Although protection of the environment is not a Buddhist goal per se, it is involved in the quest for enlightenment. The course will apply Buddhist perspectives to questions about the relations between humans and the rest of nature, to specific environmental problems, to the tradeoffs between human good and protection of other species, and to consumption and consumerism.

Spring 2014

RELG 122 What is Buddhism?
A study of Asia's most influential religion that focuses on the contemporary "embodiment" of religion in culture. This course will explore ways in which Buddhists have used visual arts, music, drama, asceticism, devotion, etc., to attain spiritual goals and express enlightenment. It will look at both monastic and popular Buddhism, concentrating on South and Southeast Asia but with some reference to East Asia and the West. This course fulfills the DIV I.a. distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement.

RELG 227 Spiritual Dimension of Heal
The effect of the mind on the body, long a principle of systems of healing around the globe, is again being recognized in modern medicine. This course will be concerned with "integrative medicine" and related topics, such as ancient systems of healing, shamanism in contemporary cultures, the relationship between religious faith and recovery from illness, the appropriation of traditional healing methods by medical professionals and New Age alternative healing practitioners, yoga, meditation and health, the Holistic Medicine movement in the West, and the Positive Psychology movement in the West. This course fulfills the DIV I.a. distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement. Offered every two years.

Summer 2014

RELG 311 Buddhism and the Environment
Although protection of the environment is not a Buddhist goal per se, it is involved in the quest for enlightenment. The course will apply the Buddhist perspective to questions about the relations between humans and the rest of nature, to specific environmental problems, to the tradeoffs between human good and protection of other species, and to consumption and consumerism. Prerequisites: 122 or ENST 111, or permission of instructor. This course fulfills the DIV I.a. distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement. Offered every two years

ENST 311 Buddhism and the Environment
An interdisciplinary course on special environmental studies topics to be offered on the basis of faculty interest, need, and demand. Recent topics have included loss of biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, forests, air pollution, and climate change. No laboratory. Prerequisite: Dependent upon topic or permission of the instructor.