An exploration of the narratives and arts of the Hindu tradition, considering the great gods - Vishnu, Krishna, Shiva, and Devi - that give expression to a profound vision of the world, the images through which the gods are envisioned, the temples and pilgrimage places where they are worshipped, and the rituals and festivals that are part of Hindu life. Readings include the Ramayana, the Bhagavad Gita, the Gita Govinda, the Shiva Purana, and the Devi Mahatmya.
An exploration of the dynamic religious landscape of the US with special focus on Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh traditions in the most recent period of post-1965 immigration. How are faith and freedom negotiated in a more complex society? In what contexts do minority religious communities encounter long-dominant Christian and Jewish communities? How is America changing as religious communities struggle with civic, constitutional, ethical, and theological issues, especially in the post-9/11 period?
Investigates religious traditions of the world in the dynamic urban context of today, focusing on the presence of these traditions in the increasingly complex and diverse religious life of the Boston area. A review of the religious histories of greater Boston. Visits to Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, and Buddhist centers. Consideration of the interfaith encounters, connections, and tensions with Christian and Jewish communities.
Readings in the life, religious thought, and social activism of M.K. Gandhi, considering Gandhi in his own time and historical context as well as his connections to those who took inspiration from his approach to issues of non-violent change and social justice. We will consider biographies and studies of Gandhi, his own autobiographical writings, his writings on non-violence, self-reliance, religion, and social transformation. Course website
Expected to be given in 2012-2013. An introduction to five of the world's religious traditions --Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim-- through the voices of modern adherents and interpreters of the tradition. Readings from Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Emil Fackenheim, Pope John Paul II, Tariq Ramadan, and others. How do people in each tradition articulate their faith in the context of globalization, pluralism, and the issues of today? What are the tensions within traditions? What are the dialogues between traditions?