RELG 231:

Religions of India

 

Professor: Daniel Meckel

Office: Anne Arundel 110C. Ext. 4464

Email: djmeckel@smcm.edu

Office hours: Fridays 2:00-3:00PM

Teaching Assistant: Allison Marie Conner
Email: amconner@smcm.edu

 

Course Summary

This course will provide an historical introduction to Indian Civilization in its major religious forms. We will study Hindu religions, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam and Sikhism, as these have developed, interacted, and given form to distinctive ways of life in India. We will read historical studies, religious and philosophic texts, examine forms of devotion and ritual, recount the stories of major religious figures (human and divine), and encounter distinctive forms of religious expression through the arts.

 

Required Texts:

Embree, Ainslee T. Sources of Indian Tradition Vol. 1. Columbia University Press.

Clothey, Fred Religion in India: A Historical Introduction, Routledge.
Rahula, W. What the Buddha Taught

Additional readings are on e-reserve. The E-reserve password is: 2jNP

 

 

Course Schedule

 

 

Topics
Readings and Assignments


 EARLY SOURCES OF INDIAN RELIGIONS

Week 1

Sept 3: Introduction to the Course

 

Readings and Assignments are due for
the day on which they are listed

 

 

Week 2

Sept. 8:

a)    Geography of the Indian subcontinent

b)    The Indus Valley Civilization

 

        Clothey, ch.2, pp.14-20

 

Download Map Exercises (Due on the 15th)

 

Early Vedic Religion

Sept 10: Brahmanical traditions and

the Vedic Period

 

        Clothey, ch.2, pp. 20-28

        Embree, ch.1 “Cosmic and Ritual Order in Vedic Literature”

 

 

THE EARLY URBAN PERIOD

Upanishadic Thought and Practice

Week 3

Sept 15: Dharma and Karma

 

        Clothey, ch.3, pp. 30-36

        Embree, ch. 2 “The Ultimate Reality in the Upanishads

 

Map Exercises Due

 

 Sept 17:

a)    Samsara and Moksha

 

 

        Flood, “Yoga and Renunciation,” section on renunciation. (e-res)

 

Jainism

Week 4

Sept 24Brahman and Atman

 

        Klostermaier, “Atman and Brahman,”(e-res)

 

Sept 24: Jina Mahavira

Video: Frontiers of Peace: Jainism in India

QUIZ 1

        Clothey, ch 3, pp. 36-50

        Embree, pp. 49-75

 

  

Early Buddhism

Week 5

Sept 29:

a)     Jain Doctrine

b)     Buddha and his Teachings (1)

 

        Rahula, chs 2-4

 

Oct 1: Buddha and his Teachings (2)

 

        Rahula, chs 5-7

 

 

 

THE URBAN PERIOD

Developing Notions of Dharma

Week 6

Oct 6:

a)     Historical Context

b)     Patanjali and the Eight Limbs of Yoga

 

 

QUIZ 2

        Clothey, ch 4, pp. 51-69.

        Flood, “Yoga and Renunciation,” section on Yoga (e-res)

 

Oct 8: Integrations of Dharma and Moksha:


purusharthas
, ashramas, Bhagavad-Gita

 

        Embree, pp. 209-212, 224-231, 274-29

        Olivelle, P. “Ascetic Withdrawal or Social Engagement” (e-res)

 

Week 7

 Oct 13: No Class (Fall Reading Days)

 

 

Oct 15: MIDTERM

 

Remember to Bring Blue Books

 

 

 

THE POST-CLASSICAL PERIOD

Hindu Devotionalism and the Narrative Traditions

Week 8

Oct. 20:

a)    Historical Context: North and South

b)    Hindu Temples and Worship

 Brief Video: Puja: Expressions

of Hindu Devotion

 

        Clothey, ch 5, pp. 87-111

 

Oct 22: Hindu Temple and Pilgrimage

 

QUIZ 3

        Michell, G, “The Temple as Link between Gods and Man” (e-res)

 

 

Sunday, Oct 26th: Visit Shri Shiva-Vishnu Temple in Lanham, MD

 

Depart from parking lot of campus center at 8:30 AM sharp, return by 4:00 PM.

 

Temple Response Paper (see Assignments Page): Due Nov. 12 in class.

 

 

 

 THE COMING OF ISLAM

Early Islam, the Mughals and Sufism

Week 9

Oct 27: Islam in India

 

QUIZ 4

        Clothey, ch 6, pp. 122-135

Oct 29: The Sufi Traditions in India

 

 

  

HINDU PHILOSOPHY: SHANKARACHARYA AND ADVAITA VEDANTA

Guest Lecturer: John Schroeder

Week 10

Nov 10: Video: I am a Muslim, I am a Sufi

 

QUIZ 5

 

 

Nov 12: Readings from the Upanishads

 

        TBA

Temple response paper due in class

 

 

Week 11

 Nov 17: No Class

 

 

Nov 19: Shankaracharya and Advaita Vedanta

 

        TBA

 

Nov 24: Discussion

 

QUIZ 6

 

  

Happy Thanksgiving!  

DEVELOPMENTS IN THE LATE MEDIEVAL PERIOD: SIKHISM


Week 14

Dec 1: The Sant Tradition and Sikh History

 

        Clothey ch 7, pp. 137-159

 

Dec 3: Sikh Doctrine and Practice

 

        Embree, pp. 500-510

        Vaudeville, C. “Sant Mat:  Santism as the Universal Path to Sanctity” (e-res)

 

 

Sunday, Dec 7th: Visit Gurudwara in DC.

                             3801 Massachusetts Ave, NW.  20016 Washington DC.

                                      Tel: 202-364-0363

Depart from parking lot of campus center at 9:50 AM sharp, return by 4:30 PM.

 

Gurudwara Response Paper (see Assignments Page): Due Dec. 10

 

 

 

STREAMS FROM THE WEST AND THEIR AFTERMATH

Dec 8: Discussion of Gurudwara trip,

Course evaluation

 

 



CONTEMPORARY MOVEMENTS AND GLOBALIZATION

 

Dec 10:

a)    Religious Minorities

b)    Colonialism and Indian Responses

 

QUIZ 7

        Clothey, ch 8

 

Gurudwara response paper due in class

 

FINAL EXAM

December 16, 2:00 PM -4:15 PM

 

Bring Blue Books

 

 

           Grading

Midterm Exam..................................... 250

Final..................................................... 250

Map Exercise....................................... 70

Video Worksheets............................... 30

Quizzes................................................. 200 (top 5, 40 pts each)

Field Essays......................................... 100

Participation........................................ 100

 

 

Final Grade Values
1000 Points Possible


  920 to 1000 = A

  900 to 919 = A-

  880 to 899 = B+

  820 to 879 = B

  800 to 819 = B-

  780 to 799 = C+

 


720 to 779 = C

700 to 719 = C-

680 to 699 = D+

620 to 679 = D

600 to 619 = D-

599 and below = F

 

You can go to Blackboard to track your progress in the class

 

 

 

 

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