RE160 - Expressions of Hinduism: Text, Image, Ritual

A historical and thematic introduction to Hindu traditions from ancient India to the present day, focusing on classic texts, iconography, and popular rituals. Topics include the Upanishads and the rise of Buddhism, the Sanskrit epics (Mahabharata and Ramayana), Yoga, Indian art and music, devotional movements and poetry, and the ethical system and social hierarchy encompassed by Dharma. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. Meets the Critical Learning: AIM requirement.

Degree requirement — Critical Learning: AIM, Critical Perspectives: G

1 unit — Coleman

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Hinduism explores prehistoric India to present-day United States. Students will examine primary and secondary materials in order to understand the changes and complexity of the Hindu religion.
Beginning with prehistoric India and the earliest recorded compositions, and concluding with a study of contemporary women gurus active in the United States, this course will introduce several major texts and traditions within the diverse religion called Hinduism. A combination of primary and secondary readings will allow us to think critically and historically about philosophy, epic literature and devotional poetry, and audio-visual materials will acquaint us with a variety of ritual practices. Our goal is not to define Hinduism in a straightforward manner, but rather to glimpse how varying interpretations of central concepts construct a complex tradition that changes over time, while nevertheless remaining recognizably Hindu.


Term Block Title Instructor Location Student Limit/Available Updated
Fall 2023 Block 1 Hinduism Tracy Coleman Armstrong Hall 235 25 / 16 05/22/2024
Spring 2024 Block 8 Hinduism Tracy Coleman Armstrong Hall 259B 25 / 13 05/22/2024
Fall 2024 Block 3 Expressions of Hinduism: Text, Image, Ritual Tracy Coleman TBA 25 / 21 05/22/2024
Spring 2025 Block 8 Expressions of Hinduism: Text, Image, Ritual Tracy Coleman TBA 25 / 25 05/22/2024
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