Faculty Profile

Dan Cozort

Associate Professor of Religion (1988)

Contact Information

cozort@dickinson.edu

East College Room 206
717.254.8972
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. At the graduate school of the University of Virginia, he specialized in Buddhism, learned Tibetan and Sanskrit, and began his collaboration 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

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

RELG 122 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.

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. Offered every two years

RELG 390 Interpreting Religion
An advanced introduction to some fundamental issues of theory and method in the academic study of religion. Selected religious phenomena will be examined using the perspectives such as those of the history of religions, psychology, sociology, anthropology, philology, philosophy, and theology. Emphasis will be placed upon methods of research and styles of writing in the study of religion.

RELG 550 Independent Research

Spring 2017

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. Offered every two years.

RELG 490 Senior Seminar
Advanced investigation of methods and critical perspectives for the study of religion with a focus to be determined by the instructor. Writing enriched. Prerequisite: 390 or permission of the instructor.