This series of eigth lectures offers a thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism for students of theology and religious studies. Focussing on the brahmanical tradition we will explore the textual sources, categories, practices and social institutions that formed that tradition. Primary texts in translation will provide the basis for reflection on both philosophical and social issues such as dharma, renunciation, caste, and concepts of deity. Not only presenting an account of the texts and traditions, the course will raise theological and cultural questions about the relation between reason and practice, person and world, and society and gender. The last two lectures will examine contemporary traditions in Kerala and we will conclude with a consideration of Hinduism and modernity. Lecture Schedule
Introduction: What is Hinduism?
The Vedas and Vedic traditions.
The Upanishads: the Chandogya and Svetashvatara
Dharma, society and gender
Theistic Traditions 1
Theistic Traditions 2
Local Traditions: Kerala
Hinduism and Modernity