Sources of Indian Religion and Philosophy

In this module we aim to explore some of the most foundational religious and philosophical texts of the Hindu and Buddhists traditions. Texts will vary from year to year, but may include: the ?g Veda, Upani?ads, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, or the Yoga Sutra from the Brahmanical/Hindu tradition, and the Nikayas, Vinaya, Jatakas, Lotus Sutra, and The Bodhicaryavatara from the Buddhist tradition.

Through close readings, we provide the opportunity for you to examine some of the core religio-philosophical ideas of early Indian thought whilst also paying close attention to the composition, style, and structure of the texts themselves. We will also attempt to situate Hindu and Buddhist textual material within a social and historical context, paying close attention to who participates in the religio-philosophical world of ancient India and in what types of social circumstances religio-philosophical ideas are discussed. Alongside reading the primary sources, we will also seek to situate our engagements within scholarly debates about methods of interpretation such as text-historical criticism, hermeneutics, phenomenology, orientalism, and post-colonial theory.