AR 96807 Fall 08 Syllabus

AR 96807 Fall 08 Syllabus - Asian Religions (REL...

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Asian Religions (REL 1014-96807) Fall 2008 Class hours: MW 4-5.15 pm Classroom: McB 329 Dr. Suchitra Samanta Office: Lane Hall 255 Telephone: 231-7825 Office Hours: Mon-Thur 12.30-1.30 pm E-mail: ssamanta@vt.edu COURSE OBJECTIVES Religious beliefs are, perhaps, the most difficult to bridge between societies and cultures. Where the Judeo-Christian religions have certain commonalities—but vast differences as well--the religions of Asia offer us—as a whole--a very different world-view. However, they too share roots, and therefore commonalities, but are also enormously diverse amongst themselves. In this course we look at the religions of, or originating in, the Indian sub-continent (Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism), as well as the religions of China (Confucianism,Taoism, schools of Buddhism), concluding with Japan (Zen Buddhism, Shinto). We approach each from the viewpoint of its history and central beliefs. We will also see films, and read articles on the lived aspects of Hinduism and Buddhism. The central objective of the course is for us to appreciate and understand the reality of religious beliefs for those who subscribe to them. It is also to reflect upon the ideas and premises we learn about, and attempt to build a bridge between our own religious beliefs and those alien to us. REQUIRED TEXTS/READINGS 1) Ludwig , Theodore M. 2006 [2001]. The Sacred Paths of the East . Third Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall 2) Hawley Narayan . 2006. The Life of Hinduism . Berkeley: Univ. of California Press [On reserve at Newman Library] 3) Online Readings on BLACKBOARD, under “Course Documents” COURSE REQUIREMENTS 1) (5%) TEN ONE-PAGE Questions/Comments/Criticism SHEETS with MINIMUM FIVE questions etc. which you bring with you to class, over the semester, on the day the reading is scheduled. These sheets should be TYPED , with your name and date of submission at the top, the title/author of the reading you are commenting on, and the sheet number
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AR 96807 Fall 08 Syllabus - Asian Religions (REL...

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