HINDU THEOLOGY OVERVIEW: THEMES, TEXTS, TRADITIONS (BSST-4500)
(09/07/2021-12/17/2021)

Course Memo

This remote seminar explores foundational ideas, themes, directions, and frameworks in Hindu theology. Arguably, the Hindu tradition offers the most diverse and open theological palette in any religion—with monotheism, monism, dualism, panpsychism, and panentheism all coexisting comfortably—due to agreement on categories of theology that cut across all boundaries including certain canonical texts and principal doctrines. Theology is variously expressed in the Hindu ethos—in ways that are systematic, philosophical, poetic, narrative, mystical, textual, visual, material, and embodied. Theology, in the Hindu world, is experienced & enacted through art, architecture, ritual, meditation, dance, drama, and pilgrimage. At the same time, every theological denomination has its own sacred texts, themes, and structures. Students will explore major theologies as well as the diverse conduits through which theology is understood, and transmitted. Particular attention is paid to constructive theological resources for justice, the moral life, and possibilities for theo-ethics. Students will have an opportunity to present a particular theme or overview of a theological school that is important for their academic project, or of particular research interest to them. Some familiarity with Hinduism is not necessary but will be helpful. PhD and ThD students (additional research) are invited and welcome. MA, MDiv, MTS students with an interest in comparative theology or interreligious studies, will find the course helpful. Seminar/Lecture format; assessment includes reflection and research papers.