The relevance of Mahatma Gandhi for the contemporary world, characterized by turbulence, is indisputable. Gandhi’s principles of Ahimsa (non-violence) and Satyagraha (love for the truth) stemmed from his religious tradition, and he applied these principles to political action in South Africa and India. The course introduces a Gandhian perspective on conflict resolution and peacebuilding. It examines ideas of Gandhi in academic and policy debates towards the development of rich and multiple perspectives and pathways to address the gap between principles and practice. It also explores the relevance of Gandhi for contemporary global issues including, but not limited to, inter-state and intra-state conflicts, climate change, religious extremism, rich-poor divide, education, economic development, and women empowerment. Gandhian ideas such as frugal economy, Gram Swaraj (grass-roots democracy), Ram Rajya (ideal state), trusteeship, social service, Swadeshi (self-reliance), bread-labor, social and religious harmony, and optimal use of resources will also be explored in the course. The students taking this course will be able to apply a Gandhian perspective on the prevailing discourses on human life and society and appreciate the significance of dialogue among civilizations and cultures.
In this course the students will be able to:
- Gain a broader understanding of Hindu thought and its problem-solving aspects.
- View contemporary conflicts from a Hindu conflict resolution lens and explore the relevance of 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
Prerequisite: Admission into a Program of Study
Instructor: Dr. Debidatta. A. Mahapatra
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