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History of Dharmaśāstras I

This two-part survey course provides an overview of dharma literature from ancient and medieval texts of the Hindu tradition. The course introduces students to the rich variety of literature concerning dharma. Topics covered include the nature of reality, ethics, cosmology, politics, economics, jurisprudence, and various public, professional, familial and personal duties, obligations of human beings. Ritual practices range from large-scale sacrifices such as Aśvamedha and Agnicayana to daily rituals such as feeding the needy (cf. pañcamahāyajña) and contributions to social justice (dānadharma). Texts include dharmasūtras (Gautama, Āpastamba, Manu), Epics and Purānas, and medieval commentarial literature of the tradition.

 

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Course Code: HSF 5006

Credit Hours: 3

Course Level: 500

This two-part survey course provides an overview of dharma literature from ancient and medieval texts of the Hindu tradition. The course introduces students to the rich variety of literature concerning dharma. Topics covered include the nature of reality, ethics, cosmology, politics, economics, jurisprudence, and various public, professional, familial and personal duties, obligations of human beings. Ritual practices range from large-scale sacrifices such as Aśvamedha and Agnicayana to daily rituals such as feeding the needy (cf. pañcamahāyajña) and contributions to social justice (dānadharma). Texts include dharmasūtras (Gautama, Āpastamba, Manu), Epics and Purānas, and medieval commentarial literature of the tradition.

 

Registration for this course is not open yet

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Description

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

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