Dates: 24/11/2012 - 10/12/2012
Mode of Delivery:
The Caitanya-caritamrita (“The Nectar Acts of Sri Caitanya”) is the magnum opus of Krishnadas Kaviraja, a sacred biography that is foundational for all followers of Sri Caitanya and his path of Krishna-bhakti. As such it has served Sri Caitanya’s followers since its completion in the early 17th century as a source of theological understanding, devotional inspiration, and means of connection with Sri Caitanya and his immediate associates. In this course we will explore the Caitanya-caritamrita from several perspectives, providing students with frameworks for reading and relishing this text as a lifetime literary companion, but also for considering various angles of understanding such as the text’s hints about historical and social conditions. Whether or not one is already familiar with the Caitanya-caritamrita, the content and delivery of this course are sure to open one to a deeper appreciation of the Caitanya Vaishnava tradition.
Teacher: Krishna Kshetra dasa (Dr. Kenneth R. Valpey) holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.A. in Religious Studies from Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, an M.St. in the Study of Religion from Oxford University, and a D.Phil. (Ph.D.) from Oxford University (2004) for his thesis on Caitanya Vaisnava image worship. He has taught at the University of Florida, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Pula (Croatia), and (since its inception) Bhaktivedanta College in Belgium, where he has taught a module on the Caitanya-caritamrita to third-year College students since 2007. In addition to various published articles and his published doctoral thesis, he is now collaborating with Radhika Ramana dasa (Dr. Ravi M. Gupta) on a pair of books on the Bhagavata Purana, to be published by Columbia University Press, New York. He is a permanent Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.