Religions of Ancient India

Course Schedule

 

Topics, Texts, Videos


Videos in Green

 

Reading Assignments

 

Primary Texts in Purple

Quizzes &
Written Assignments

Week 1

Tu Aug 29: Introduction to the Course

 

 

 

 

Thu Aug 31:  The Story of India: Beginnings

 

 

·      Koller, Ch. 1

 

 

Map Assignment 1 Posted

Due Sept 12 in class

(See Assignments page)

 

 

·      Video Worksheet 1

 

Week 2

Tu Sept 05: Beginnings of Indian Civilization / Geographical and Linguistic Features

 

 

 

·      Trautmann, Chs. 1 & 2

 

 

 

 



THE VEDIC AGE
1400-500 BCE

 

Early Vedic Traditions

 

Thu Sept 07:  Aryan Worldview and Society


Arya

 

·      Koller, Ch. 2, pp. 19-32

·      Trautmann,  Ch. 3

·      Rig Veda 10.90 - Purusha Sukta [BB]

 

 

 

Week 3

Tu Sept 12: Creation, Ecstatic Visions, and the Fire Sacrifice

 

Yajna

 

Alter of Fire

 

·      Koller, Ch. 3

·      Map Assignment 1 Due in Class

 

 

Th Sept 14: (continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 4

 Tu Sept 19: Quiz and Video

 

The Story of India: The Power of Ideas

 

·      Trautmann,  Ch. 4

·      Mundaka Upanishad (excerpt) – Sacrifices: Unsteady boats on the ocean of life 
(In Embree, The Ultimate Reality in the Upanishads, p. 31) [BB]

 

 

QUIZ 1

 

·      Video Worksheet 2

 

 

Late Vedic Traditions

 

Th Sept 21:

1.    The Crisis of Early Vedic Civilization

2.    Upanishads and The Conditions of Human Existence

 

Samsara, Karma, Kala

 



·      Koller, Ch. 4

 

 

Week 5

Tu Sept 26: Upanishads 2: Liberation, The Divine, and The Self


Moksha, Atman, Brahman

 

 

·      Klostermaier, Karma, Vidya, Moksha: Liberation from Rebirth [BB]

·      Chandogya Upanishad (excerpt) – The essential reality underlying the world.  In Embree, The Ultimate Reality in the Upanishads, pp. 36-38 [BB]

·      Response Paper Option 1:  Zimmer, Eternity and Time [BB]

Tu Sept 28: No Class (Meckel at conference)

 

 

 

Week 6

Tu Oct 03: Renunciation


Four Hindu Ascetics

 

 

·      Flood, “Yoga and Renunciation” (section on renunciation) [BB]

QUIZ 2

 

·      Video Worksheet 3



 

JAINISM AND BUDDHISM
500-320 BCE


Jainism

 

Th Oct 05:  Jain Doctrine and Practice

 

Video: The Frontiers of Peace

 

 

·      Video Worksheet 4

·      Response Paper Option 2:  Coward, Hearing the Sacred [BB]

 

Buddhism

Week 7

Tu Oct 10: No Class (Fall Reading Days

·      Koller, Ch. 06

Th Oct 12: Buddha’s teaching on the 

                        Conditions of Suffering

 

·      Kohler Ch. 7, pp. 128-149

·      Response Paper Option 3: Jaini, The Mendicant Path and the Attainment of the Goal [BB]

 

 

Week 8

Th Oct 17: Buddha’s teaching on the

                        Cessation of Suffering

 

·       Kohler, Ch. 7, pp. 149-162

QUIZ 3

 

·      Response Paper Option 4: TBA

 

 

 

 

Th Oct 19:  MIDTERM EXAM  (Bring Blue Books)

 

 

 

 

Week 9

Tu Oct 24: Yoga 1

 

 

·      Koller, Ch. 8

·      Map Assignment 2 Posted

 

Th Oct 26: Yoga 2

·      TBA

 

 

 

 

Week 10

Tu Oct 31:  No class (all day advising)

 

 

 

Syntheses of Early and Late Vedic Traditions

 

Th Oct 31:  No class (All Day Advising)

 

 

 

Th Nov 02:  The Ways and Aims of Vedic Life

 

 

·      Koller, Ch. 5

 

·      Response Paper Option 5: Olivelle, Social Engagement or Ascetic Withdrawal [BB]

 

Week 11

Tu Nov 07: The Bhagavadgita

 

·      Koller, Ch. 9

·      Map Assignment 2 Due in class (See Assignments page)

Th Nov 09: TBA

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CLASSICAL AGE
320 CE – 1000 CE

Week 12

Tu Nov 14: The Formation of the Classical Age

 

Story of India: Ages of Gold

 

·      Trautmann, Ch. 5

 

 

QUIZ 4

·      Response Paper Option 6:  Michell, The Temple as a Link Between the Gods and Man [BB]

·      Video Worksheet 5

 

Th Nov 16: Bhakti: Vishnu

 

Puja

 

·      Eck, Ch. 1

·      Koller, Ch. 10

 

 

·      Response Paper Option 7:  Courtright, On this Holy Day, In My Humble Way: Aspects of Puja [BB]

 

Week 13

 

Nov 20-24: No class (Thanksgiving Break)

 

 

 

Week 14

Tu Nov 27: Rise of the Goddess Traditions

 

 

Th Nov 29: Bhakti: Kali and Shiva

 

Mandir

 

·      Koller, Ch. 11

·      Eck, Ch. 3

·      Response Paper Option 8:  Eck, The Goddess Ganges in Sacred Hindu Geography [BB]

 

Week 15

Tu Dec 04:

 

 

 

 



Th Dec 06: 

 

QUIZ 5

 

                                                          FINAL EXAM

 

Thursday December 14th,  2:00 – 4:15 PM

Lib 321

 

 

 

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