This course provides a historical and thematic survey of Hindu thought and practice. Attention is paid to the development of Hindu traditions beginning with the Indus Valley Civilization and concluding with contemporary questions about political Hinduism. The course introduces students to key texts (Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, bhakti poetry, etc.) as well as modes of ritual practice and temple worship. Close reading of primary sources as well as careful reading of selected secondary sources particularly on matters of history and identity is essential to the course. Students are expected to engage the much-contested question of whether there is such a thing as "Hinduism" and whether Hinduism might be called a religion.
Note: Includes two field trips, specifically one to Flushing, New York.
- Professor: John Thatamanil