CULTBLF 60/HDS 3429: Religion in India: Texts and Traditions in a Complex Society

Instructor: Diana Eck

 

An exploration of the classical texts, spiritual teachings, epic narratives, and religious movements that have shaped a complex civilization for some three thousand years, from the Indus Valley to today. Readings in primary sources – Vedas and Upanishads, Buddhist and Jain teachings, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita, Bhakti and Sufi poets, Sikh gurus and Muslim kings. Attention to the creation of a rich and composite civilization and the ways in which these sources continue to be of significance to the understanding of modern India.

Our explicit aim is to understand Indian civilization as composite and complex, its religious communities and cultures interpenetrating and, at times, competing. It is designed to acquaint students who have not studied India with a rich and diverse civilization. And for students with some background in the study of India or in one of the religious traditions of India, the course will enable you to deepen and broaden your knowledge, and your questions.