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Schedule

The outline for the course has had to be altered at the last minute to suit the unusual character of the class this year. As a result, there have been some changes in the books to be ordered and read, and this schedule is a work in progress.

Introduction to the Seminar

Week 1 General discussion of the course and how to make the most of it, as well as identification and discussion of student interests, and assignment of responsibilities.

South Asia

Week 2
Introduction and Background to Hinduism
In general: Smith, "Hinduism" (chapter 2)
Indo-Aryan Pantheon, the Vedas, and the Upanishads
On the Vedas: Radhakrishnan, pp. 3-36
On the Upanishads: Radhakrishnan, pp. 37-77 (optional: pp. 77-96)

Week 3
Ancient Pantheons and the Nature of Mythology
On Greek and Germanic-Norse pantheons: Hamilton, all
On Near-Eastern pantheons: Pritchard, Ancient Near-Eastern Texts, selections (STH)

Week 4
Introduction and Background to Budddhism
In general: Smith, "Buddhism" (chapter 3)
Basic Buddhist Teachings
On the Buddha’s teaching: Walpola, all

Week 5
The Bhagavad-gita
On the Epics: Radhakrishnan, pp. 99-100, 164-171 (optional: 172-223)
The Gita: Radhakrishnan, pp. 101-163; if you have it, read Stoler Miller’s translation.

Week 6
Theravada Buddhism
On Early Buddhism and Theravada: Radhakrishnan, 272-328
Concentrate on the Dhammapada

Week 7
Women in Hinduism and Buddhism
Both of the Sharma volumes, chapters on Hinduism and Buddhism

Week 8
The Schools of Mahayana Philosophy in India: Madhyamaka (Nagarjuna) and Yogacara (Vasubandu)
On Nagarjuna: Radhakrishnan, 338-346
On Vasubandu: Radhakrishnan, 328-337

Week 9
Six Orthodox Schools of Hinduism
Radhakrishnan, selections from 349-572, TBA

Week 10
Saivism (Abhinavagupta)
Muller-Ortega, all

 

West Asia

Week 11
Introduction and Background to Judaism
In general: Smith, "Judaism" (chapter 7)

Hebrew Bible

Week 12
Rabbinic Judaism, Mishnah, and Talmud

Week 13
Introduction and Background to Christianity
In general: Smith, "Christianity" (chapter 8)
Origins of Christianity (New Testament)

Week 14
Christian Councils and Controversies (Trinity and Christology)

Week 1
Introduction and Background to Islam
In general: Smith, "Islam" (chapter 6)
Origins and early Development of Islam (Qur’an)

Week 2
Women in West Asian Religion

Week 3
Mysticism (Sufism)

Week 4
Mysticism (Kabbalah)

Week 5
Mysticism (Christian)

Week 6
Medieval Entanglements (Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Thomas)

 

East Asia

Weeks 7-13 (to be determined)

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