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REL 3330 Spring '09 Syllabus

Page history last edited by Ali Krishna dd 15 years, 3 months ago

The Syllabus

Instructor: Dr. Howard Resnick, Hresnick@ufl.edu

Class time: M, W, F 11:45AM – 12:35 PM, TUR 2353

Office hours: M, W 10:30 – 11:30 Anderson 131 



1/3- Class attendance (physical and mental) and completion of homework.

1/3- First 7-8 page paper, due February 20.

1/3- Second 7-8 page paper, due April 17.



Our readings will support class lectures and discussions. Our experience in the classroom is central and essential to our learning. At the beginning of each class, you will turn in short and simple answers to questions on the reading for that day.  Your answers will not be graded and need only show that you read the material, not that you perfectly understand it. 



IH: Introducing Hinduism by Hillary Rodriguez, Routledge

IP: Indian Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction by Sue Hamilton, Oxford

BD: Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction by Damien Keown, Oxford

BG: Bhagavad Gita by Graham M. Schweig, Harper Collins


Schedule of Class, Topics, and Readings:

The first number for each class is the date of the month.  The second number is the number of the class. For example under August, 27.2 = August 27, the second class of the semester.



7.1 Introduction to the course: books, themes, requirements, methods, relevance. 


9.2 Karma, cosmology, and theodicy. Read: IH Ch 2;

Questions: IH p54, Discussion questions 3-6


12.3 Dharma, social order, purity and pollution etc. Read: IH Ch 3

Questions: IH p73, Discussion questions 1-6


14.4 The Indo-European issue. Read: IH pp 1-22. Questions: IH p22, questions 1-4. Special attention to question 3, for Wednesday’s lecture.


16.5 Vedic religion. Read: IH Ch 1, IP Ch 2. Questions: IH 42-43 questions 3-5. Explain the ‘ontological term’ monism (IP p 29).


1/19 No class (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)


21.6 Jaina dharma. Read: Course reserve: article on Jaina dharma; IH pp121-123. Questions: identify: the dominant religious ideal in Jainism; ahimsa, and its role in Jainism; Mahavira; the Jinas; the Svetambaras and Digambaras; the Jaina ‘ascetic ideal’; Jaina lay practices; Carvak.


23.7 Buddha: life and teachings. Read: BD Chs 2, 4; IH 121-122; IP Ch 3

Questions: Briefly recount Buddha’s life, and his ‘four noble truths.’


26.8 Buddhism: Karma, cosmos, sangha and Mahäyäna. Read: BD Chs 3 and 5. Questions: What are Buddhist notions of karma, including types of rebirths? What is Mahäyäna?


28.9 Buddhist Philosophy. Read: IP Chs 3 and 6. Questions: What were some Buddhist questions about the ‘self’? What is dependent origination? What are some Buddhist schools of thought? Who is Nagarjuna?


30.10 Hindu response to Buddhism: Pürva Mimamsa. Read: IH Ch 5 and 131-132; IP 57-66 and 121-125. Questions: What is (Purva) Mimamsa? How does this school regard language? What is the ‘sphoöa’ theory of language? What is the role of ‘mantra’ in Hinduism?



2.11 Vedanta: Upanishads. Read: IH p249; IP 66-69. Questions: What are the Brahma Sutras? What schools do Jaimini and Badarayana represent? What was the attitude of these schools toward testimony?


4.12 Vedanta: Brahma-sutras, Advaita. Read: IH pp 250-251; IP 125-131

Questions: IH p 254, Questions 1 and 5 


6.13 Vedanta: Brahma-sutras: Ramanuja, Madhva. Read: IH p 252-253; IP 131-135;  Question: briefly summarize the reading.


 9.14 Ramayana: personalism, avatära. Read: IH 136-143, 177-180 and 199 – 205. Questions: What is ‘itihasa’? The Ramayana? Rama?


11.15 Ramayana: Reread - IH 136-143. Summarize the reading.


13.16  Mahabharata: cosmic struggle. Text-critical issues. Read: IH 144-150. Questions: IH p151, Discussion questions 3-5


16.17 Mahabharata: earthly struggle. Reread: IH pp144-150. Questions: IH p151, Discussion questions 1-5.


18.18 Bhagavad-gita within Mahabharata. Read: IH Ch 8; Intro and Chs 1-2 of BG. Questions: What is the Bhagavad-gita?

What might account for its great influence? What three yogas does it teach? What is the Gita’s ‘Outer and Inner Conflict’?


20.19 Bhagavad-gita. Read: BG Chs 3-6. Questions: What are the general topics in each chapter? 1st Paper Due


23.20 Bhagavad-gita. Read: BG Chs 7-10. Questions: What are the general topics in each chapter?


25.21 Bhagavad-gita. Read: BG Chs 11-14. Questions: What are the general topics in each chapter?


27.22 Bhagavad-gita. Read: BG Chs 15-18. Questions: What are the general topics in each chapter?



2.23 Dharma and the individual.  Read: IH Ch 4. Question: briefly summarize the chapter.


4.24 Vaishesika, Nyaya and Sankhya. Read: IH 128-130; IP Ch 5, and 112-117. Questions: Briefly, what is Vaishesika? Nyaya? Sankhya? What is the importance of the Sanskrit language?


 6.25 Yoga. Read: IH 126-128; IP 107-112; BD Ch 7; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoga_Sutras. Questions: briefly describe the topics and goals of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.


 3/7-3/14  Spring Break


16.26 Hindu Deities and the Puranas Read: IH Ch 10. Questions: What are the Puranas? In what sense did the Vedic deities ‘decline’? Who is Siva? Visnu’s ‘avataras’? Sarasvati and Lakshmi?


18.27 The Bhagavata Purana. Trans-historicity. Read: edwinbryant.org -> Book Publications -> Krishna: The Beautiful Legend of God -> Introduction. Please read the first 28 pages of the Introduction.

Question: Briefly summarize the reading.


20.28 Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism. Read: IH Ch 9. Questions: IH pp184-185. Discussion questions 1-6.


23.29 Hindu worship. Read: IH Ch 11. Questions: IH pp243-244. Discussion questions 1-6.


25.30 Tantra. Read: IH Ch 13. Questions: IH p269. Discussion questions 1-7.


27.31 Islam in India: a history. Please watch and summarize: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec-V5FVt_bs


30.32 Islam in India. Read: IH 273-280; Questions: IH 296. Discussion questions 1, 4.



1.33 Early Sikh-history. Watch the first half of this film and summarize it:



3.34 Later Sikh history. Finish watching and summarize:



6.35 Medieval Bhakti: Mirabai and Caitanya. Read: IH p162-167; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mira_Bai

Questions: Who was Mirabai? How and what did she teach? Who was Caitanya? What was his mission?

8.36 Bheda-abheda and Rasa. Read: http://www.iep.utm.edu/b/bhed-ved.htm, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupa_Goswami Questions: What is bhedabheda? Who is Rüpa Gosvami? His contribution?


10.37 First European contacts. Read: IH 280-2 and summarize.


13.38 19th century Indian reaction to Europe. Read: IH 282-287 and summarize. 


15.39 Early 20th century Indian reaction to Europe. Read IH 287-296 and summarize.


17.40 Hinduism and the West. Read: IH Ch 16 and summarize. 2nd Paper Due


20.41 Hare Krishna. Read: IH 319-321, Swami Bhaktivedanta, and summarize.


22.42 Hinduism and ecology. Read: IH Ch 17; http://www.fov.org.uk/hinduism/07.html. Briefly summarize the readings.