Hindu Temple Paper Assignment:

Trip to the Shiva-Vishnu Temple


The purpose of this assignment is to reflect closely on the nature of Hindu deities and their relations with human beings, as you encounter these at the Shiva-Vishnu Temple.  Within Hindu devotionalism, gods are often like “divine persons” -- they have specific forms and qualities that are person-like.  Thus, Hindus enact their devotional relations in very concrete ways that often resemble human relations -- such as between subject and king, host and guest, parent and child, lover and beloved.  With this in mind, please respond to the following questions:


1.  In what ways do you see that the gods are understood as, and treated like, persons?

2.  How would you characterize the divine-human relationship(s) enacted between worshippers and deities, as you observed them?


After addressing the first two questions in your paper, please respond to the third:


3.  What was your personal reaction to what you saw in the temple – i.e., what were you

     expecting, what was it like for you, and what did you learn?


Please write your name on this assignment.  The paper should be double-spaced, no less than three pages, and is due in class on November 12th.  All thoughtful and well-composed papers will receive full credit (50 points).  The papers will not be returned unless requested.