The course explores Hindu ideas and their relevance for conflict resolution. Though there is a vast literature on conflict and peace studies, the Hindu ideas are seldom factored in the mainstream discourse. The course aims to fill this critical gap while dispelling myths about Hindu ideas on conflict resolution. A closer examination reveals that Hindu thought from the very ancient period dealt with conflict at multiple levels and explored pathways for their transformation. A hallmark of the Hindu thought is its spiritual approach to conflict and its emphasis on the interlinkage of conflicts at various spheres including psychological, social, cultural, political, and economic. Whether it was the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra or Pitamaha Bhishma’s advice at the end of the Mahabharata war or Kautilya’s famous exhortation to Indians to unite against invading Greeks, or Ashoka’s remorse during the Kalinga war or Gandhi’s struggle against the British rule, they reveal to us powerful ideas and their relevance for a discourse on conflict resolution and peacebuilding. While introducing students the core elements of the Hindu thought that focus on conflict and peace, the course explores their conflict resolution potentials. It encourages students to explore a complex and interesting subject, for example the India-Pakistan conflict or the India-China conflict, in their own way while drawing from the Hindu scriptures and philosophers.
There will be contact hour with the faculty every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on self-study, research and writing assignments each week. At the end of the course, students will be required to submit a short essay.
Course Learning Objectives:
- Gain a broader understanding of Hindu thought and its problem-solving and conflict resolution dimensions.
- View contemporary conflicts from a Hindu conflict resolution lens and explore the relevance of the Hindu perspective for the contemporary world.
- Examine a contemporary conflict while drawing on the Hindu conflict resolution theories and practices.
Area of Study: Conflict and Peace Studies
Required / Elective: Elective
Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study
Faculty: Dr. Debidatta. A. Mahapatra
Start Date: 16th July 2021
End Date: 24th September 2021
Time: 006:00 pm EST – 09:00 pm EST
Quarter Offered: Summer 2021