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Ādi Śaṅkara

This course provides a comprehensive explication of Ādi Śaṅkarācārya’s philosophy. Students will gain an understanding of his views of phenomenal reality, perception, scripture, revelation, the soul, transmigration, dharma, creation, nescience, and ultimate realization. They will be introduced to his thought systematically, showing how he develops his hermeneutics and argues for the cogency of the non-dual (advaita) standpoint vis-a-vis alternative viewpoints.

Area of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor:  Dr. Vishwa Adluri

 

Ancient Greek Philosophy

Course Content:

Students will receive an intensive introduction to the core issues in ancient Greek philosophy by reading excerpts and complete texts from ancient philosophers including Parmenides, Empedocles, Plato, Aristotle, and Proclus, writing response papers, engaging in-class discussion, and submitting a final paper.

Students will gain insight into philosophical discourse and terminology, as well as intellectual tools with which to contribute to today’s philosophical and theological disputes.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Required/ Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Edward P. Butler/ Dr. Vishwa Adluri

Bhakti and Philosophy

Students will read several of the most important primary sources for bhakti. They will gain an understanding of the philosophy underlying the concept of bhakti and how bhakti enables moksha i.e. salvation for the individual soul. The course will also provide a basic introduction to concepts such as non-dualism, ontology, cosmology, emanation, procession, and the relation of the macroscopic universe to the individual. Students will simultaneously gain an appreciation for different textual genres and how poetics corresponds to the fourth puruṣārtha of mokṣa.

Area of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

Brahmasūtras

Learning Outcomes:

The course covers a brief introduction to the text, its compositional history, some text-historical scholarship ranging from Deussen to Hacker, and controversies in contemporary scholarship. The major portion of the course will be devoted to understanding the structure of the text, exposition of key themes and the logical disputation of rival views. At the end of this course, students will gain: (1) a good grasp of the philosophical textual tradition of Hinduism: Upaniṣads, Brahmasūtras and the Bhagavadgītā; (2) an understanding of the Brahmasūtras: their comprehensive theory of Brahman and the rigorous logic underlying it; and (3) an overview of the reception of the text within the tradition and in recent critical scholarship and the issues raised in these contexts.

Area of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

Comparative Religion: Death and Meaning

Learning Outcomes:

This is a comparative course in the Abrahamic, Greek, and Hindu paradigms. At the end of this course, students will be able to: 

  1. Understand the phenomenon of death and its importance to religion; 
  2. Interpret, analyze and critique the views on death and meaning in major religions of the world; 
  3. Show the relationship between death, salvation, and personal identity; and 
  4. Discuss and clarify philosophical arguments as they arise in these texts.

Required / Elective: Required

Faculty: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

Prerequisites: Admission into a program of study

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Quarter Offered: Spring 2020

History of Dharmaśāstras I

Learning Outcomes:

Readings for the course will demonstrate the complexity of being human, being ethical, and exploring the ultimate meaning of life. Although the course is designed as an overview, we will focus on crucial issues concerning social justice: inequalities in income, privilege, caste, access to resources and education, and the consequences of bad governments and individual greed. The course is based on P. V. Kane’s comprehensive work History of Dharmaśāstra. Part I is required to register for Part II. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: (1) understand the breadth and depth of the textual tradition of dharma; (2) know key texts, their chronology, key concepts and the debates surrounding them; (3) learn how to read, interpret and research based on primary texts; and (4) knowledgeably draw on the tradition for understanding contemporary issues.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

History of Dharmaśāstras II

Learning Outcomes:

Readings for the course will demonstrate the complexity of being human, being ethical, and exploring the ultimate meaning of life. Although the course is designed as an overview, we will focus on crucial issues concerning social justice: inequalities in income, privilege, caste, access to resources and education, and the consequences of bad governments and individual greed. The course is based on P. V. Kane’s comprehensive work History of Dharmaśāstra. 

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: 

    (1) Understand the breadth and depth of the textual tradition of dharma 

    (2) Know key texts, their chronology, key concepts and the debates surrounding  them; 

    (3) Learn how to read, interpret and research based on primary texts; and 

    (4) Knowledgeably draw on the tradition for understanding contemporary issues.

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Completion of History of Dharmaśāstras I

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

Quarter Offered: TBD

Orientation to Hindu Studies

An overview and insight into the design of the curriculum offered by the Hindu University of America. A survey of the central ideas of Hinduism – covering an Ontology of key Sanskrit terms and the principal ideas that are central to the cosmology, practice, and expressions of Sanatana Dharma. The course will include reflections and perspectives on these core concepts, using selected readings from source texts such as the Vedas, Upaniṣhads, Sutras, Itihaasa, Bhagavad-Gītā, Purāṇas and Dharma-Śhāstras. The Hindu world-view based on Dharma with its emphasis on duties and responsibilities and sustainability of life will be contrasted with contemporary ideologies and their focus on rights and privileges, competition and survival of the fittest. The distinction between a discourse of knowledge and a discourse of power will be drawn out. 

In this course students will be able to: 

  1. Explore various options and trajectories available within the Hindu Studies Program
  2. Distinguish the central ideas and concepts that constitute the Foundations of Hindu Dharma; Reflect on the Hindu Studies Foundations area
  3. Inquire into and evaluate different elective areas of study and Courses offered: Sanskrit Studies, Texts and Traditions, History and Method, Post-Colonial Hindu studies and Conflict and Peace studies.
  4. Distinguish between pathways towards a deep study of Hindu thought, or towards deep engagement with western thought from a Hindu perspective
  5. Discover and Create customized pathways for engagement with the Hindu Studies curricula

Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundations

Prerequisites: None

Faculty / Instructor:  Kalyan Viswanathan (along with others) 

This course is a recommended prerequisite for all students who wish to enter into the Graduate program.

Day:- Thursday

Start Date:- 9 January 2020

End Date:- 19 March 2020

Time:- 9-10pm EST

The Mahābhārata I

Thorough knowledge of the extent and divisions of the Mahābhārata; its different editions; and reading and working with its critical edition. This course will also prepare students to read the Mahābhārata thoughtfully, using the tools of philosophy, logical inquiry, hermeneutics, and poetic theory. Students will learn to locate the Mahābhārata within a textual tradition extending backwards into the Vedic Saṃhitās and forward into the Purāṇas and Āgamas. They will also develop an appreciation for why, even today, this text continues to be foundational for the living tradition of Hinduism.

Areas of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

Day:- Thursday

Start Date:- January 9th, 2020.

End Date:-  March 19th, 2020.

Time:- 10am-12pm EST.

 

The Mahābhārata II

Thorough knowledge of the extent and divisions of the Mahābhārata; its different editions; and reading and working with its critical edition. This course will also prepare students to read the Mahābhārata thoughtfully, using the tools of philosophy, logical inquiry, hermeneutics, and poetic theory. Students will learn to locate the Mahābhārata within a textual tradition extending backwards into the Vedic Saṃhitās and forward into the Purāṇas and Āgamas. They will also develop an appreciation for why, even today, this text continues to be foundational for the living tradition of Hinduism.

Areas of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

 

Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa

Students will apply theoretical tools developed within psychoanalysis by Freud and Lacan which will allow them to approach the text self-critically. We shall read the entire text, analyzing some key passages from literary and philosophical perspectives that also reveal who we have become and who we wish to be. Students will learn to appreciate the Rāmāyaṇa as a profound character study, exploring the relation of the individual to society and to dharma. We will read extensive sections of the narrative, discuss and engage with topics that concerned commentators and explore the limitations of modernist critiques of Rāmāyaṇa and contemporary Indian society based on this text.

Area of Study: Text and Traditions

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Vishwa Adluri

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