Monday, August 25, 2008

World Religions Study: Hinduism

Weeks 2-6, Hinduism:

Smith, pages 14-89, 15 pages per week.

Novak, pages 1-48, 10 pages per week.

Eliade, chapter 1, 10 pages per week.

Read as desired from resources on Hinduism.

Read as desired from general resources.

Continue response journal, making note of your reading.


Sacred Texts
A Tribute to Hinduism
An Introduction to Hinduism
BBC Religion & Ethics -Hinduism
Hindu Tradition Web Sites
Hinduism at
Hinduism (
Hinduism (part of the WWW Virtual Library)
Analects of Confucious


At the end of the 5-week Hinduism study either

1. turn in a project that demonstrates your understanding of Hinduism;


2. answer the following questions (adapted from here):

The Scriptures
Why are the Vedas regarded as authoritative? What is the significance of the Upanishads?

What is the significance of the Hindu teaching that God exists equally in all beings?
Is Hinduism pantheistic? Give reasons for your view. Why is AUM an appropriate name for God?

One God, Many Names and Forms
What is polytheism? Is Hinduism polythesistic? Give reasons for your answer.
How can we account for the variety of names and forms used for God in Hinduism?
Can the doctrine of the ishtadeva help us to understand religious pluralism in today's world?

The Purpose of Icons
What is a murti ?
What purposes do murtis serve in Hinduism? Are murti-like objects present in other religions? What purposes do these serve?

The Meaning of Worship
What is the significance of the murti in a puja ritual? Does the use of a murti in worship constitute idolatry? Give reasons. How is the puja ritual similar to or different from the worship practices of other religions?

The Law of Karma
What does the word karma mean? Why are all actions not considered karma? What is the relationship between a particular action and its result? Why are the results of actions not always immediate?

Explain the details in the process of reincarnation. Describe the progress of the soul as it journeys through many lives. What is its goal? What is the relationship between samsara and karma ? Are all experiences in the present influenced by choices made in the past? What is the justification for compassion towards others?

Is there an end to the cycle of birth, death and rebirth? How does the understanding of the atman result in liberation (moksha)? What does moksha free us from? What do we gain by attaining moksha? What is the nature of avidya?

Explain the meaning of maya. What is the purpose of our world?

The Cardinal Virtues
What is dharma?
What is ahimsa?
Why is good intention significant in truth-speaking?

Weeks 7-11, Buddhism

Weeks 12-16, Confucianism

Weeks 17-21, Taoism

Weeks 22-26, Islam

Weeks 27-32, Judaism

No comments:

Post a Comment