REL 240(F) Hindu Traditions*

Whether or not the implied unity of the term "Hinduism" reflected existing conditions on the South Asian subcontinent when it was first coined in the nineteenth century, the idea of an all-embracing "Hinduism" or "Hindu religion" has now long been in use in self-recognized Hindu communities around the world. This course will introduce students to the historical emergence of two contemporary Hindu traditions. We shall first consider the Hinduism of modern-day Bali, in which doctrine and practice have been articulated in terms of Indonesian state-bureaucratic regulations regarding the nature of "legitimate" religion. We shall then examine the emergence of "Hindu nationalism" in contemporary India and the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In each case, special attention will be paid to the representation of tradition and alterity, as well as to the deployment of both scriptural and other modes of authority. The course will offer an overview of broadly western scholarship on Hinduism, and the ways in which scholars have engaged with each of these two Hindu traditions. Format: lecture/discussion. Requirements: full and active participation, one 5-page essay and one 10-page final paper. No prerequisites. Enrollment limit: 30 (expected 15).

Hour: FOX