Course Memo

This seminar explores Hindu Ethics via its Philosophical and Theological foundational ideas, themes, directions, and frameworks. 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. PhD and ThD students will find plenty of in-depth material (with additionsal research) and the course is suitable for advanced MA, MDiv, and MTS students with an interest in comparative theology and ethics. Hybrid: Regular lecture/seminar zoom format; 3 in-person meetings; and Guest Speakers; assessment includes reflection and research papers. [Prior knowledge of Hindu Thought will be helpful; Auditors with faculty permission]