Concentration on the main themes and debates within each approach in the study of religion:
1. The main discussions within the field of Anthropology of Religion (i.e. unilinear evolution) with reference to the theories developed by Tyler and Evans-Pritchard
2. The main discussions within the field of Sociology of Religion (i.e. religion as a function of society) with reference to the theories developed by Marx and Weber.
3. The main discussions within the field of Psychology of Religion (i.e. religion and the individual) with reference to the theories developed by Freud & James.
4. The influential contribution of M. Eliade within the field of Phenomenology.
- Teacher: E.C.Abala Andrew
This module introduces students to the literary and theological contribution of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada focusing particularly on critically exploring his presentation of the Bhagavad Gita within the context of Vedic texts and in dialogue with modern cultural contexts. It also considers key methodological issues of textual interpretation. The module may also include Caitanya Vaishnava theological themes and issues such as the five themes of the Bhagavad Gita according to Baladeva Vidyabhusana and Prabhupada, the soul and transmigration, symptoms of a self-realized person, devotional theism vs. impersonalism (monism), renunciation of work vs. work in devotion, the yoga processes, mind and sense control, cultivation of knowledge, levels of God realization, worship of God vs. worship of other deities, bhakti and ananya-bhakti, levels of devotion, varnasrama-dharma, and the three gunas.
- Teacher: Labangalatika dasi
- To provide students with brief and clear overview of the historical development and core issues in Western philosophy.
- To provide understanding of some answers Western philosophers have given to the most essential questions of life using logical argumentation.
- To develop the ability to grasp the essence of a philosophical argument and evaluate it in a coherent spoken and written form according to various main philosophical standpoints/traditions.
- To provide a practical understanding of the function and content of philosophical argumentation in the Western philosophical tradition.
Lectures; group discussion; questionand answer sessions; debates; pair and group work; problem solving; practiceessay questions; reviews; individual reading and homework; use of hand book forthe course; power point presentations; other interactive exercises; videos; useof media.
Appropriate forms of delivery andassessment will be offered to distance learning students to ensurecomparability of learning opportunity. Lectures and seminars onsite will bevideo recorded; within 24 hours the video will be available in the moodleenvironment. We will also have separate MP3 audio recordings of the class.
By the end of the module thestudents will demonstrate an ability to:
- Discuss the main issues within western philosophy with reference to specific contributions of important thinkers.
- Logically analyse and evaluate philosophical arguments with reference to the main representatives and theories within Western Philosophy.
- Reflect on the ideas encountered and employ logical arguments to support or question personally held beliefs.
- Undertake academic research of relevant publications and periodicals.
Assessment andReassessment Components and Weighting
1) A 2,000-word review of a (a) abook, (b) chapter in a book, (c) article, or (d) documentary or other video(50%) [Learning Objective 1, 2, 3].
2) A 2,000-word essay (50%) [LearningObjective 1, 3, 4].
Reassessment: Two 2,000-word essays(50% each).
- Teacher: Jahnava-lila dd
- To provide a basic understanding of the major doctrines of prominent Vaishnava Acharyas and their writings.
- To analyse the conditions of the formulation and the historical development of the Acharyas’ teachings.
- To encourage students to think carefully about the theological/philosophical issues as articulated within this discourse, in relation to the concept, practice and experience of bhakti.
Methods of Learning and Teaching and Formative Assessment
Lectures; reading; group discussions; question and answer sessions; debates; pair and group work; power point presentations; practice essay questions; reviews; individual reading and homework; other interactive exercises; videos; use of media.
Appropriate forms of delivery and assessment will be offered to distance learning students to ensure comparability of learning opportunity. Lectures will be available in the moodle environment. We will also have separate MP3 audio recordings of the class.
- Demonstrate a basic understanding of the theological ideas and varying interpretations of Vedanta of prominent theologians/teachers in the Vaishnava tradition.
- Have an understanding of why and how different interpretations of Vedanta determine practice.
- Evaluate the merits and short-comings of both hagiography and critical scholarship in the study of prominent Vaishnava teacher/theologians.
- Be able to participate in varied forms of theological argumentation.
- Teacher: Gopal Gupta