Courses of Study 2018-2019 
    Jun 21, 2024  
Courses of Study 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ASIAN 2277 - Meditation in Indian Culture

(crosslisted) RELST 2277  
(GHB) (CA-AS)      
Spring. 3 credits. Student option grading.

D. Gold.

This course probes the truths behind traditional claims of the priority of internal practice in Indian traditions. We will examine both practices themselves - techniques of meditation and contemplation - religious ways of using intellect, forms of chant and ritual, and the dynamics through which these have left a wider mark on South Asian civilization. These dynamics include not only the evident reverberations of practice in philosophical reflection and socioreligious institutions, but also wide-ranging processes of stylization, elaboration, and popularization found throughout South Asian culture. In order to get a sense of the experiences treated in classical religious texts, students will be expected to experiment with some basic meditation practices. At least as important for the work of the course (and much more important for the grade) will be the ways in which students situate these practices within larger South Asian world views as suggested by doctrines, rituals, iconic forms, and literary texts. To keep the interaction between internal practice and broader world views central, we will examine both Hindu and Buddhist sources, consistently examining the ways in which similar practices are given distinct shapes by the two religious traditions. (RL)

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