Dates: 28/09/2015 - 23/10/2015
Mode of Delivery: Online
Level: 4 (Year 1)
Credit Value: 20 (for regular BA Theology and Religious Study)
Hinduism is probably the world’s oldest major living religious tradition, with roots deep in the early cultures of the Indian sub-continent. These ancient cultures combined to create a highly diverse family of religions, philosophies, and material cultures. Although estimates of the total number of Hindus in the world vary greatly (900 – 1,400 million), Hinduism has grown to become the world’s third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. It is the dominant religion in India, Nepal, and among the Tamils in Sri Lanka, and there are Hindus living in every part of the world today. Because of the wide range of ideas and traditions incorporated by the term ‘Hinduism’, a useful analogy to consider Hinduism is that of an extended family. While some Hindus share common texts, deities, and ritual practices, even though they interpret them differently, other family members openly dispute the views of their kith and kin, disagreeing about the common creed, teachers or deities. In fact, you could be an agnostic, atheist, theist, pantheist or polytheist and still be a Hindu!
This module is Bhaktivedanta College’s BA degree program in Theology and Religious Studies, accredited by the University of Chester. To pursue the BA, you must complete the application procedure and be accepted into the program. The academic year starts in September. This module can also be taken without special requirements. You may study the BA module as an auditing participant, independent of BA accreditation, without an obligation to complete the final assessment. You would be expected to complete the reading assignments, view/hear the lectures, and take part in the discussion forums. By clicking “Enrol Now” you will be redirected to Bhaktivedanta College Online Campus, where you will proceed with registration and payment. The Paypal fee for this module is €99 fully inclusive. Once your registration is complete, you will have access to the virtual classroom and all learning materials. Upon successfully completing this module, you will be awarded with a Certificate of Attendance mailed to your home address.
In 2002 Yugal-kisor completed a Bhakti-sastri degree in Vridavana and the following year he enrolled in the course Theology and Religious Rtudies at Bhaktivedanta College. After completing his studies at Bhaktivedanta College, in 2008 he completed the MA course in Religious Studies at Cardiff University, one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. His background in higher education also includes teaching experience at Bhaktivedanta College, where he taught courses on Leadership and Management, Teacher Training, and Communications to first-year students.
Students are expected to attend all lectures and seminars. Distance learning students will participate in the lectures as explained in section 11 of this module descriptor.
The module will cover the following topics:
• Defining Hinduism
• The Vedas and Vedic ritualism
• Dharma-shastra, caste and gender
• The Upanishads and the renouncer traditions
• Devotional traditions
• Tantric texts and traditions
• Vaishnava traditions
• Shaiva traditions
• Shaktism and worship of the Goddess
• Modern Hindu Reformers
• Contemporary Hindu Movements.
To explore understandings of Hindu and Vaisnava identity by giving students a broad introduction to the beliefs and practices of the Hindu traditions
Methods of Learning and Teaching and Formative Assessment
The teaching will be done primarily through interactive lectures, with audio-visual presentations, group discussions and some guided individual research and reflection outside class.
Appropriate forms of delivery and assessment will be offered to distance learning students to ensure comparability of learning opportunity. Lectures and seminars onsite will be video recorded; within 24 hours the video will be available in the moodle environment. We will also have separate MP3 audio recordings of the class.
- Demonstrate knowledge of some of the major strands of belief and practice commonly referred to under the heading of Hinduism.
- Show the ability to identify and analyse the significance of key concepts in Hindu religious belief.
- Be able to critically reflect upon their own tradition in the light of the broader Hindu tradition.
- Develop their ability to engage in group discussion, showing respect and tolerance for ideas that may be different from their own..
Assessment and Reassessment Components and Weighting
1. A 2,000-word essay (50%) [LO 1-3].
2. A portfolio consisting of EITHER (i) a 15-minute presentation (500-word equivalent) accompanied by reflective notes (1,500-word equivalent) (CAMPUS students only) OR (ii) a 2,000-word essay (DISTANCE students only) (50%) [LO 1, 2, 4].
Reassessment: As assessment.
Flood, G. (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Flood, G. (Ed.) (2005). The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing.
Fuller, C.J. (2004). The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Klostermaier, K. (1994). A Survey of Hinduism. Albany, State University of New York Press.
Knott, K. (1998). Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Michaels, Axel (2003). Hinduism: Past and Present. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Mittal, S. & Thursby, G (Ed.) (2004). The Hindu World. London, Routledge.
Lipner, J. (1994). Hindus. London, Routledge.
Rodrigues, H. (2006). Introducing Hinduism. London, Routledge.
Primary sources are provided as excerpts in the Module Handbook and as full texts in electronic or printed form.