Offered occasionally by permanent or visiting faculty members. Topics vary. Offered: AWSp.
THE BHAGAVAD GITA
The Bhagavad Gita is possibly the best-known Hindu text, both in India and in the West. In this course we shall undertake a close reading of the Gita and examine the various facets of the text and its reach
All texts will be read in English translations, no knowledge of Sanskrit or other Indian languages is required.
Student learning goals
Undertake a close reading of the Bhagavad Gita.
Understand the Gita's literary, historical and cultural context.
Discern the doctrinal contributions of the Gita to Hinduism.
Examine the textual criticism of the Gita & the genre of imitative Gita literature.
Study the Gita's influence on Indian nationalism, & its reception in the West.
The primary goals of this course are to familiarize ourselves with this literature and the readings that are presented here, and to understand the concerns & motivations of their creators and the various perspectives from which these can be interpreted. We will use writing as a means to organize our understanding and work our ideas into coherent arguments. Our goal in class sessions will be to engage with the ideas and issues raised by our readings, with the active participation of all students.
General method of instruction
Bi-weekly lecture and discussion.
Success in this course requires reading the assigned texts carefully and thoughtfully. The course has no formal prerequisites, but a prior course on Hinduism and/or Eastern Religions will be helpful. Students should read assigned texts, take notes of key issues and arguments and come to class prepared to discuss them, and to think and write critically about them.
Class assignments and grading
Weekly reading assignments. Weekly study guides with discussion questions distributed online. Bringing passages to discuss in class, asking questions, and making thoughtful academic arguments. Responses to WebQ reading quizzes. GoPost response paragraphs and peer feedback on specified topics. Periodic writing assignments.