Skip directly to content

Forthcoming lectures

Sanskrit Prelims I: Week 3

Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen
Monday, 22 October 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. A range of relevant Hindu and Buddhist texts will be chosen for translation and philological comment. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the essentials of Sanskrit grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and its importance for the exegesis of Sanskrit texts. Students will learn to appreciate the interpretative nature of translation as a central discipline for the study of religions. By the end of the course students will have gained a basic competency in translating classical Sanskrit and reading relevant passages from texts such as the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the Bhagavadgītā and the Buddhist Heart Sūtra. The course book will be Walter Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language. Sanskrit Prelims continues throughout Michaelmas and Hilary Terms and for the first four weeks of Trinity.

Readings in Phenomenology: Session 3

Lucian Wong
Thursday, 25 October 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
OCHS Library

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century, and it has also had a deep impact on other theoretical fields more widely conceived. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology, and has turned in the past to thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, Paul Ricoeur, Emmanuel Levinas, Peter Sloterdijk, Quentin Meillassoux, and others.

This term we will be reading Maurice Merleau Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception.

Sanskrit Prelims I: Week 3

Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen
Friday, 26 October 2018 -
9:30am to 11:30am
OCHS Library

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. A range of relevant Hindu and Buddhist texts will be chosen for translation and philological comment. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the essentials of Sanskrit grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and its importance for the exegesis of Sanskrit texts. Students will learn to appreciate the interpretative nature of translation as a central discipline for the study of religions. By the end of the course students will have gained a basic competency in translating classical Sanskrit and reading relevant passages from texts such as the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the Bhagavadgītā and the Buddhist Heart Sūtra. The course book will be Walter Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language. Sanskrit Prelims continues throughout Michaelmas and Hilary Terms and for the first four weeks of Trinity.

Hinduism 1: Sources and Formations: Session 3

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Friday, 26 October 2018 -
4:00pm to 5:00pm
Faculty of Theology & Religion, Gibson Building, Lecture Room

This paper offers a thematic and historical introduction to the sources and development of Hindu traditions from their early formation to the medieval period. We will explore the formation of Hindu traditions through textual sources, such as the Vedas, Upaniṣads and Bhagavad Gītā, along with the practices and social institutions that formed classical Hindu traditions. The lectures will include an introduction to Hindu philosophy.

Sanskrit Prelims I: Week 4

Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen
Monday, 29 October 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. A range of relevant Hindu and Buddhist texts will be chosen for translation and philological comment. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the essentials of Sanskrit grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and its importance for the exegesis of Sanskrit texts. Students will learn to appreciate the interpretative nature of translation as a central discipline for the study of religions. By the end of the course students will have gained a basic competency in translating classical Sanskrit and reading relevant passages from texts such as the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the Bhagavadgītā and the Buddhist Heart Sūtra. The course book will be Walter Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language. Sanskrit Prelims continues throughout Michaelmas and Hilary Terms and for the first four weeks of Trinity.

Guru-śiṣya-saṃbandha: The Structure of Faith in the Śaṅkaran Vedānta Religious Tradition

Prof. Yoshitsugu Sawai
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

This lecture focuses on the Śaṅkaran Vedānta religious tradition of Śṛṅgeri in contemporary Indian society. In India, Śaṅkara, whose date is about 700-750, was a famous Indian philosopher who advocated the advaita (non-dual) Vedānta philosophy. At the same time, he has been traditionally believed to be the founder of this religious tradition whose center is located in Śṛṅgeri. In this lecture, I would like to clarify the “relationship of a teacher with his disciples” (guru-śiṣya-saṃbandha) as one of the main characteristics of this religious faith. In this religious tradition, there is such a relationship at the dimension of the saṃnyāsins (world-renouncers) and at that of lay adherents. In particular, I will focus on the relationship between the Jagadguru (a world teacher) and his disciples, whether they are saṃnyāsins or lay people. From the perspectives of religious studies, my lecture aims to explore the nature of the two kinds of faith, i.e., the religious commitments of saṃnyāsins and lay adherents.

Prof. Yoshitsugu Sawai is Professor of the History of Religions and former Dean of the Faculty of Human Studies at Tenri University (Japan), as well as Advisor of the Japan Association of Religion and Ethics. He is the author of The Faith of Ascetics and Lay Smartas: A Study of the Sankaran Tradition of Srngeri (Sammlung De Nobili).

Readings in Phenomenology: Session 4

Lucian Wong
Thursday, 1 November 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
OCHS Library

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century, and it has also had a deep impact on other theoretical fields more widely conceived. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology, and has turned in the past to thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, Paul Ricoeur, Emmanuel Levinas, Peter Sloterdijk, Quentin Meillassoux, and others.

This term we will be reading Maurice Merleau Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception.

Semantics of Indian Philosophy: Toshihiko Izutsu’s “Oriental Philosophy”

Prof. Yoshitsugu Sawai
Thursday, 1 November 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

The purpose of this lecture is to elucidate the characteristics of Indian philosophy on reality and consciousness, from the semantic perspectives of the famous Japanese philosopher Toshihiko Izutsu (1914-93). Through his semantic attempt to construct an “Oriental Philosophy,” Izutsu interpreted such Indian philosophical texts as the Upaniṣads and Śaṅkara’s commentaries on the Upaniṣadic texts. In this lecture, while clarifying the hermeneutical structure of his “Oriental Philosophy,” I would like to argue how he semantically interpreted the structure of reality and consciousness in Indian philosophy, focusing on Śaṅkara’s advaita (non-dual) Vedānta philosophy. For Izutsu, among various Indian thoughts, Śaṅkara’s philosophy is the most representative thought in Izutsu’s Oriental philosophical reflection. In Izutsu’s view, the main stream of Oriental philosophy, including Indian philosophy, has been traditionally “anti-cosmic,” i.e., ontologically destructive.

Prof. Yoshitsugu Sawai is Professor of the History of Religions and former Dean of the Faculty of Human Studies at Tenri University (Japan), as well as Advisor of the Japan Association of Religion and Ethics. He is the author of The Faith of Ascetics and Lay Smartas: A Study of the Sankaran Tradition of Srngeri (Sammlung De Nobili).

Sanskrit Prelims I: Week 4

Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen
Friday, 2 November 2018 -
9:30am to 11:30am
OCHS Library

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. A range of relevant Hindu and Buddhist texts will be chosen for translation and philological comment. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the essentials of Sanskrit grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and its importance for the exegesis of Sanskrit texts. Students will learn to appreciate the interpretative nature of translation as a central discipline for the study of religions. By the end of the course students will have gained a basic competency in translating classical Sanskrit and reading relevant passages from texts such as the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the Bhagavadgītā and the Buddhist Heart Sūtra. The course book will be Walter Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language. Sanskrit Prelims continues throughout Michaelmas and Hilary Terms and for the first four weeks of Trinity.

Hinduism 1: Sources and Formations: Session 4

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Friday, 2 November 2018 -
4:00pm to 5:00pm
Faculty of Theology & Religion, Gibson Building, Lecture Room

This paper offers a thematic and historical introduction to the sources and development of Hindu traditions from their early formation to the medieval period. We will explore the formation of Hindu traditions through textual sources, such as the Vedas, Upaniṣads and Bhagavad Gītā, along with the practices and social institutions that formed classical Hindu traditions. The lectures will include an introduction to Hindu philosophy.

Sanskrit Prelims I: Week 5

Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen
Monday, 5 November 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. A range of relevant Hindu and Buddhist texts will be chosen for translation and philological comment. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the essentials of Sanskrit grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and its importance for the exegesis of Sanskrit texts. Students will learn to appreciate the interpretative nature of translation as a central discipline for the study of religions. By the end of the course students will have gained a basic competency in translating classical Sanskrit and reading relevant passages from texts such as the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the Bhagavadgītā and the Buddhist Heart Sūtra. The course book will be Walter Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language. Sanskrit Prelims continues throughout Michaelmas and Hilary Terms and for the first four weeks of Trinity.

Readings in Phenomenology: Session 5

Lucian Wong
Thursday, 8 November 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
OCHS Library

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century, and it has also had a deep impact on other theoretical fields more widely conceived. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology, and has turned in the past to thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, Paul Ricoeur, Emmanuel Levinas, Peter Sloterdijk, Quentin Meillassoux, and others.

This term we will be reading Maurice Merleau Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception.

From Temple to Museum: Colonial Collections and Uma Mahesvara Icons in the Middle Ganga Valley

Lecture of the Shivdasani Visiting Fellow
Dr. Salila Kulshreshtha
Thursday, 8 November 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

Mahesvara from sites across South Bihar in their movement and displacement from their original abodes in temples to museums, private collections and art markets. The scope of the book covers a large time frame from the early medieval to the 20th century and innovatively tries to bridge the historiographical divide between the ancient and the modern and also between socio-religious practices and their institutional memory and preservation. One of the most interesting aspects of discussion is how through official surveys and institutionalisation of museum and archival practices the colonial government tried to create a monotheistic identity to sacred spaces in the Indian Subcontinent.

Through the medium of sacred sculptures the talk will touch upon significant issues in Indian archaeology such as the prolonged usage of the same ritual space by various communities of people such as Buddhists, Jains, Hindus and Muslims. Another significant theme which will be discussed is how a shift in the architectural and ritual placement of sacred images can bring about a change in their identity and purpose. The talk will also focus on the creation of regional identities and the politics of heritage making through the use of visual cultures and museum spaces.

Dr. Salila Kulshreshtha secured her PhD in History from Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her doctoral research focuses on tracing how the spatial relocation of sacred sculptures brings about a change in their identity and ritual purpose. She has worked on issues of urban heritage and heritage education with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) [2004] and with the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Mumbai [2011-2012]. She has taught Art history, History and Humanities in Mumbai at Rizvi College of Architecture and Indian Education Society’s College of Architecture [2012-2013] and in the USA at the Old Dominion University and Virginia Wesleyan College [2005-2007]. She is currently based in Dubai. Her research interests include religious iconography, colonial archaeology, museum collections and Indian Ocean trade networks. She has also contributed to designing an online course of OCHS on Indian Art. 

Sanskrit Prelims I: Week 5

Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen
Friday, 9 November 2018 -
9:30am to 11:30am
OCHS Library

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. A range of relevant Hindu and Buddhist texts will be chosen for translation and philological comment. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the essentials of Sanskrit grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and its importance for the exegesis of Sanskrit texts. Students will learn to appreciate the interpretative nature of translation as a central discipline for the study of religions. By the end of the course students will have gained a basic competency in translating classical Sanskrit and reading relevant passages from texts such as the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the Bhagavadgītā and the Buddhist Heart Sūtra. The course book will be Walter Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language. Sanskrit Prelims continues throughout Michaelmas and Hilary Terms and for the first four weeks of Trinity.

Hinduism 1: Sources and Formations: Session 5

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Friday, 9 November 2018 -
4:00pm to 5:00pm
Faculty of Theology & Religion, Gibson Building, Lecture Room

This paper offers a thematic and historical introduction to the sources and development of Hindu traditions from their early formation to the medieval period. We will explore the formation of Hindu traditions through textual sources, such as the Vedas, Upaniṣads and Bhagavad Gītā, along with the practices and social institutions that formed classical Hindu traditions. The lectures will include an introduction to Hindu philosophy.

Śākta Traditions Symposium III

Monday, 12 November 2018 -
10:00am to 6:00pm
OCHS Library

Convener: Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen

Hinduism cannot be understood without the Goddess (Devī/Śakti) and the goddess-oriented Śākta traditions. The Goddess pervades Hinduism at all levels, from aniconic village deities to high-caste pan-Hindu goddesses to esoteric, tantric goddesses. Nevertheless, these highly influential forms of South Asian religion have only recently begun to draw a more broad scholarly attention. Taken together, they form ‘Śāktism’, which is by many considered one of the major branches of Hinduism next to Śaivism and Vaiṣṇavism. Śāktism is, however, less clearly defined than the other major branches and sometimes surprisingly difficult to discern from Śaivism in its tantric forms. These sometimes very complex and challenging forms of Śākta religion provide a test case for our understanding of Hinduism and raise important theoretical and methodological questions with regard to the study of religious traditions in South Asia.

The Śākta symposia series at the OCHS include state-of-the-art contributions by a number of scholars to the Śākta Traditions research project (saktatraditions.org) and its endeavor in tracing developments in the history of goddess worship in South Asia among the orthoprax brahmans, among the tantric traditions and at village level. Thus, the symposia act as historical explorations of distinctive Indian and Nepalese ways of imagining God as Goddess (and goddesses) contributing to a survey of important origins and developments within Śākta history, practice and doctrine in its diversity as well as offering an insight into the fascinating Śākta religious imaginaire and ritual practice that is distinctive and sets ‘Śāktism’ apart from other forms of South Asian religion.

More information, including list of speakers, will follow later.

Sanskrit Prelims I: Week 6

Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen
Monday, 12 November 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. A range of relevant Hindu and Buddhist texts will be chosen for translation and philological comment. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the essentials of Sanskrit grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and its importance for the exegesis of Sanskrit texts. Students will learn to appreciate the interpretative nature of translation as a central discipline for the study of religions. By the end of the course students will have gained a basic competency in translating classical Sanskrit and reading relevant passages from texts such as the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the Bhagavadgītā and the Buddhist Heart Sūtra. The course book will be Walter Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language. Sanskrit Prelims continues throughout Michaelmas and Hilary Terms and for the first four weeks of Trinity.

Readings in Phenomenology: Session 6

Lucian Wong
Thursday, 15 November 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
OCHS Library

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century, and it has also had a deep impact on other theoretical fields more widely conceived. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology, and has turned in the past to thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, Paul Ricoeur, Emmanuel Levinas, Peter Sloterdijk, Quentin Meillassoux, and others.

This term we will be reading Maurice Merleau Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception.

Rethinking Advaita Within the Colonial Predicament: The Subject as Freedom and the ‘Confrontative’ Philosophy of K. C. Bhattacharyya (1875–1949)

Pawel Odyniec
Thursday, 15 November 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

In this talk I will examine the distinctive way in which the prominent Indian philosopher Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya (1875–1949) engaged with Advaita Vedānta during the terminal phase of the colonial period. I propose to do this by looking, first, at ways in which Krishnachandra understood the role of his own philosophizing within the colonial predicament. I will call this his agenda in ‘confrontative’ philosophy. I shall proceed, then, by sketching out the unique manner in which this agenda was successfully carried out through his engagement with the Advaitic notion of self-knowledge and articulated in his The Subject as Freedom (1930).

Pawel Odyniec is a Ph.D. candidate in Indology at the Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, Sweden. He has worked on several eminent Indian philosophers of the twentieth century and their reinterpretations of the classical Advaita Vedānta with particular attention to the concept of liberating knowledge. His research interest is in the area of Indian philosophy/theology, from classical to modern, in its Sanskrit, Hindi, and English sources which he addresses from a perspective that combines philosophy, philology, and history of ideas. Over the past few years, he has been teaching Introduction to Indian Philosophy and has been assisting in teaching Sanskrit and Hindi. 

Sanskrit Prelims I: Week 6

Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen
Friday, 16 November 2018 -
9:30am to 11:30am
OCHS Library

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. A range of relevant Hindu and Buddhist texts will be chosen for translation and philological comment. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the essentials of Sanskrit grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and its importance for the exegesis of Sanskrit texts. Students will learn to appreciate the interpretative nature of translation as a central discipline for the study of religions. By the end of the course students will have gained a basic competency in translating classical Sanskrit and reading relevant passages from texts such as the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the Bhagavadgītā and the Buddhist Heart Sūtra. The course book will be Walter Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language. Sanskrit Prelims continues throughout Michaelmas and Hilary Terms and for the first four weeks of Trinity.

Hinduism 1: Sources and Formations: Session 6

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Friday, 16 November 2018 -
4:00pm to 5:00pm
Faculty of Theology & Religion, Gibson Building, Lecture Room

This paper offers a thematic and historical introduction to the sources and development of Hindu traditions from their early formation to the medieval period. We will explore the formation of Hindu traditions through textual sources, such as the Vedas, Upaniṣads and Bhagavad Gītā, along with the practices and social institutions that formed classical Hindu traditions. The lectures will include an introduction to Hindu philosophy.

Sanskrit Prelims I: Week 7

Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen
Monday, 19 November 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. A range of relevant Hindu and Buddhist texts will be chosen for translation and philological comment. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the essentials of Sanskrit grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and its importance for the exegesis of Sanskrit texts. Students will learn to appreciate the interpretative nature of translation as a central discipline for the study of religions. By the end of the course students will have gained a basic competency in translating classical Sanskrit and reading relevant passages from texts such as the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the Bhagavadgītā and the Buddhist Heart Sūtra. The course book will be Walter Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language. Sanskrit Prelims continues throughout Michaelmas and Hilary Terms and for the first four weeks of Trinity.

Readings in Phenomenology: Session 7

Lucian Wong
Thursday, 22 November 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
OCHS Library

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century, and it has also had a deep impact on other theoretical fields more widely conceived. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology, and has turned in the past to thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, Paul Ricoeur, Emmanuel Levinas, Peter Sloterdijk, Quentin Meillassoux, and others.

This term we will be reading Maurice Merleau Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception.

Decoding Gandharan Art: Making Of Museum Collections In India

Lecture of the J.P. And Beena Khaitan Visiting Fellow
Thursday, 22 November 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

This paper discusses collections of Gandharan sculptures in museums in India along two lines of enquiry: one, the nature and size of collections in some of the major museums of the country, such as the Indian Museum, Kolkata founded in 1814 and with the largest collection of 1602 Gandharan objects; or the National Museum, New Delhi, which was inaugurated on 15th August 1949, two years after Indian Independence and has 688 objects. In contrast to the Indian Museum’s collection made before 1927, the National Museum continued to add pieces until 1987. Other sizable collections include those in the Government Museum, Chandigarh and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai, though the history of the collection is unique in each case. How are these differences to be understood or contextualized? The focus on ‘collecting’ rather than ‘collections’ provides insights into the changing nature of engagement between the region of Gandhāra and the history of the subcontinent.

Himanshu Prabha Ray is recipient of the Anneliese Maier research award of the Humboldt Foundation (2014 – 2019) and Member of the Board of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, Oxford. She is former Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Former Chairperson, National Monuments Authority, Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

She is series editor of Routledge Archaeology and Religion in South Asia book series in collaboration with OCHS. Her recent books include Archaeology and Buddhism in South Asia (Routledge, 2018); The Return of the Buddha: Ancient Symbols for a New Nation (Routledge, New Delhi, 2014); The Archaeology of Seafaring in Ancient South Asia (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003), as also edited volumes: Buddhism and Gandhara: An Archaeology of Museum Collections (Routledge, 2018);  Bridging the Gulf: Maritime Cultural Heritage Of The Western Indian Ocean (India International Centre & Manohar Publishers, 2016); Satish Chandra and Himanshu Prabha Ray edited, The Sea, Identity and History: From the Bay of Bengal to the South China Sea (Manohar Publishers, 2013).

Sanskrit Prelims I: Week 7

Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen
Friday, 23 November 2018 -
9:30am to 11:30am
OCHS Library

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. A range of relevant Hindu and Buddhist texts will be chosen for translation and philological comment. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the essentials of Sanskrit grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and its importance for the exegesis of Sanskrit texts. Students will learn to appreciate the interpretative nature of translation as a central discipline for the study of religions. By the end of the course students will have gained a basic competency in translating classical Sanskrit and reading relevant passages from texts such as the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the Bhagavadgītā and the Buddhist Heart Sūtra. The course book will be Walter Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language. Sanskrit Prelims continues throughout Michaelmas and Hilary Terms and for the first four weeks of Trinity.

Hinduism 1: Sources and Formations: Session 7

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Friday, 23 November 2018 -
4:00pm to 5:00pm
Faculty of Theology & Religion, Gibson Building, Lecture Room

This paper offers a thematic and historical introduction to the sources and development of Hindu traditions from their early formation to the medieval period. We will explore the formation of Hindu traditions through textual sources, such as the Vedas, Upaniṣads and Bhagavad Gītā, along with the practices and social institutions that formed classical Hindu traditions. The lectures will include an introduction to Hindu philosophy.

Sanskrit Prelims I: Week 8

Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen
Monday, 26 November 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. A range of relevant Hindu and Buddhist texts will be chosen for translation and philological comment. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the essentials of Sanskrit grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and its importance for the exegesis of Sanskrit texts. Students will learn to appreciate the interpretative nature of translation as a central discipline for the study of religions. By the end of the course students will have gained a basic competency in translating classical Sanskrit and reading relevant passages from texts such as the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the Bhagavadgītā and the Buddhist Heart Sūtra. The course book will be Walter Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language. Sanskrit Prelims continues throughout Michaelmas and Hilary Terms and for the first four weeks of Trinity.

Knowledge Traditions of the Indian Ocean World Workshop

Workshop
Thursday, 29 November 2018 - 10:00am to Friday, 30 November 2018 - 5:00pm
Lecture Theatre, Ashmolean Museum

 

 

Organised by Ashmolean Museum, Anneliese Maier Research Award, and Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.

Evidence indicates that intellectual advances in many fields were the outcome of cross pollination of ideas resulting from travels across the Indian Ocean world. The interchange of ideas across societies and regions created the dynamism necessary for the emergence and sustenance of extensive civilizations and the movement of scholars and students. This workshop is a rediscovery of our Indian Ocean past and there seems no better way to undertake this than through retracing the ideas and the debates that were at the heart of the great intellectual enterprises of the maritime world of Asia. The conference also has a more contemporary agenda.

In the current phase of globalization and economic development it is commonly held that states and societies which have control of knowledge are economic frontrunners which hold out the promise of a better life for their citizens. While the mantle may have passed to the developed West for now, an understanding of the importance of learning and knowledge and its institutionalization in societies in Asia would provide insights for a revival of knowledge societies across this region. Existing evidence, both archaeological and textual, indicates the breadth of the intellectual discourse which ran through the Indian Ocean world.

Anthropological studies have shown the close interaction that maritime communities maintain with the sea and the extent to which their knowledge of the waters and seafaring knowledge are vital to their identity construction. How are histories of these mobile communities to be factored into an understanding of the history of the sea? Historically these communities, variously termed sea-gypsies or boat-people have travelled unhampered across the waters and claimed sovereignty through kinship ties. They have facilitated movement of commodities and have forged links with littoral states, but they are by no means homogenous.

Among the many forms of exchange which took place in the Indian Ocean Region the sailing vessels which were swept by the monsoon winds across this maritime domain also encouraged dialogue between communities of scholars, officials and religious clergy. The exchange of ideas and beliefs led to the development of new technologies and skills, as also the maturity and advance of intellectual traditions. This symposium aims to bring together scholars.

Speakers include Prof. Paul Lane (Cambridge), Prof. Ingo Strauch (Lausanne), Dr. Rebecca Darley (Birkbeck), Dr. Srinivas Reddy (Brown), Dr. Andrew Bauer (Stanford), Dr. Mathew A. Cobb (Wales), Ms. Nesrin El-Galy (Oxford), Dr. Anna M. Kotarba-Morley (Macquarie), Prof. Dionisius A. Agius (Exeter), Dr. Elizabeth Lambourn (De Montfort), Dr. Shailendra Bhandare (Ashmolean), Dr. Salila Kulshreshtha, Dr. Mamta Dwivedi (Freiburg), Dr. Vincent Tournier (EFEO), Ms. Sophia van Zyle Warshall (UCLA), and Dr. Veronica Walker Vadillo (Helsinki).

Registration for the workshop is required. To register, please email secretary@ochs.org.uk.

Readings in Phenomenology: Session 8

Lucian Wong
Thursday, 29 November 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
OCHS Library

Phenomenology is one of the most important developments in philosophy in the twentieth century, and it has also had a deep impact on other theoretical fields more widely conceived. This seminar series seeks to engage with some of the fundamental concepts of phenomenology, and has turned in the past to thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, Paul Ricoeur, Emmanuel Levinas, Peter Sloterdijk, Quentin Meillassoux, and others.

This term we will be reading Maurice Merleau Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception.

Sanskrit Prelims I: Week 8

Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen
Friday, 30 November 2018 -
9:30am to 11:30am
OCHS Library

The course provides an introduction to Sanskrit for the preliminary paper of the Theology and Religion Faculty in Elementary Sanskrit. A range of relevant Hindu and Buddhist texts will be chosen for translation and philological comment. The class is designed to introduce students of Theology and Religion to the essentials of Sanskrit grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and its importance for the exegesis of Sanskrit texts. Students will learn to appreciate the interpretative nature of translation as a central discipline for the study of religions. By the end of the course students will have gained a basic competency in translating classical Sanskrit and reading relevant passages from texts such as the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, the Bhagavadgītā and the Buddhist Heart Sūtra. The course book will be Walter Maurer’s The Sanskrit Language. Sanskrit Prelims continues throughout Michaelmas and Hilary Terms and for the first four weeks of Trinity.

Hinduism 1: Sources and Formations: Session 8

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Friday, 30 November 2018 -
4:00pm to 5:00pm
Faculty of Theology & Religion, Gibson Building, Lecture Room

This paper offers a thematic and historical introduction to the sources and development of Hindu traditions from their early formation to the medieval period. We will explore the formation of Hindu traditions through textual sources, such as the Vedas, Upaniṣads and Bhagavad Gītā, along with the practices and social institutions that formed classical Hindu traditions. The lectures will include an introduction to Hindu philosophy.