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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Christian L. Novetzke
RELIG 352
Seattle Campus

Hinduism

Varieties of Hindu religious practice; the diverse patterns of religious thought and action among contemporary Hindus. Includes ritual behavior, village Hinduism, tantrism, sadhus, yoga, sects, the major gods and their mythologies, religious art, and the adjustments of Hinduism to modernity. Recommended: RELIG 202 or one South Asian culture course.

Class description

> > > >What is Hinduism? A religion? A philosophy? A way of life? This course, which assumes no prior knowledge of Hinduism or India, explores the fundamental components of the collection of stories, rituals, poems, songs, actions, philosophies, beliefs, images, places, practices, and concepts that together shape the many ideas of Hinduism in India. We will study Hinduism from its most ancient rudiments to contemporary politics on the subcontinent, observing the many ways Hinduism has been determined in specific contexts. During the quarter you will have a chance to read several texts that are central to various forms of Hinduism, including yogic texts, the Upanishads and Vedas, the Bhagavad Gita, stories from the ancient "mythic" texts or puranas, and the writings and speeches of modern Hindu figures. You'll also experience the two Indian epics in unique forms: you will read the Ramayana in comic book format and watch a theatrical production of the Mahabharata. By the end of the course students with have a fluency in the vocabulary of Hinduism, through key terms, images, and practices set in their historical and cultural contexts. > > > >

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Student learning goals

Learn the basic conceptual vocabulary of the many beliefs and texts that constitute "Hinduism"

Reconsider "What is religion?" from the point of view of Hinduism(s)

Be able to visually identify the iconic representations of Hindu deities

Understand the basic history of Hindu thought in various forms.

Discuss intelligently debates about things "Hindu" such as the nature and origin of yoga; the caste system; the differences between Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions; the influence of "modernity" on Hinduism.

General method of instruction

Interactive lecture with powerpoint, visuals, and video/audio; many opportunities for students to discuss materials and ask questions during class.

Recommended preparation

No prep is required; come to class curious about the world of Hinduism

Class assignments and grading

> > Class assignments and grading > > (Describe the general nature of assignments.) > > > > Participation (20%): Participation is measured by in-class engagement with the materials of the course and the course lectures in the form of asking questions, making productive comments, completing any and all in class writing assignments, and generally being involved in your own learning in class. Writing Assignments (20% each): Daily hand-written reactions (approximately 1 page). You will write these in the first 10 minutes of class based on a question given by me. The best reaction papers reflect on the reading in a synthetic way and aim toward generating discussion by asking one or two questions. One Critical Review (3-4 pages, plus half page synopsis) based on a film, television show, novel, or other media associated with Hinduism. An assignment description will be provided. One Media Review (3-4 pages, plus half page synopsis) based on some subject in the news media related to religion in India or Hinduism in the world. One Final Essay Exam in Class (20%). This is an open book exam, open note exam, but you cannot use any other materials for the exam. You'll have the full class time to complete the essay exam. The exam is in class.

> > Class assignments and grading > > (Describe the general nature of assignments.) > > > > Participation (20%): Participation is measured by in-class engagement with the materials of the course and the course lectures in the form of asking questions, making productive comments, completing any and all in class writing assignments, and generally being involved in your own learning in class. Writing Assignments (20% each): Daily hand-written reactions (approximately 1 page). You will write these in the first 10 minutes of class based on a question given by me. The best reaction papers reflect on the reading in a synthetic way and aim toward generating discussion by asking one or two questions. One Critical Review (3-4 pages, plus half page synopsis) based on a film, television show, novel, or other media associated with Hinduism. An assignment description will be provided. One Media Review (3-4 pages, plus half page synopsis) based on some subject in the news media related to religion in India or Hinduism in the world. One Final Essay Exam in Class (20%). This is an open book exam, open note exam, but you cannot use any other materials for the exam. You'll have the full class time to complete the essay exam. The exam is in class.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Loryn Hazan Paxton
Date: 10/05/2011