Hinduism in the Modern World
Hinduism in the Modern World 2023-24
School Of History, Law And Social Sciences
Module - Semester 2
This module explores the development of Hinduism over the last four millennia in order to establish what it means to practice Hinduism in the 21st Century. Focusing on the largest denominations of Hinduism, the course examines a wide range of religious practices, covering issues as diverse as yoga, aestheticism and animal sacrifice, exploring the philosophical and historical foundations of such practices. The course will continue by questioning the issues facing Hindus who practice their faith in diaspora, exploring how specific traditions have evolved and synthesised when practised within the west. The course will finally examine the rich mythology that central to modern Hinduism, addressing how myths are essential in establishing both identity and social values.
- Develop a critical awareness of the historical foundations of Hinduism and their impact on the practice of the religion today.
- Have a clear understanding of the central doctrines of Hinduism and how they are interpreted by distinct denominations that exist within the religion.
- To assess the contribution of Hindu mythology in establishing a Hindu response to contemporary world issues.
- To examine common themes found within Hindu mythology.
- To examine how the three largest theological denominations express devotion to their chosen deity, both in India and as part of the Hindu diaspora.
- To recognise the historical and philosophical factors that led to the development of the three largest denominations within Hinduism.
Students will deliver a 15 minute presentation which discusses the philosophical and ethical teachings associated with the various religious traditions of Hinduism.
Students will complete one essay from a choice of five which will require them to critically analyse how Hindu teachings can be applied to an ethical issue.