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Emic (an insiders view) vs. Etic (an outsiders view) perspectivesReligion texts do to not describe a historical reality, they prescribe an ideal view of the vision of reality,what the world should be. Ask: What were the values of the people who wrote and read these texts?India produced Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism. India has imported Zoroastrianism, Judaism,Christianity, Islam, and Baha'i. The borders of India today were drawn in 1947; in our class, we have amuch broader inclusion of the territory of Pakistan and Bangladesh (South Asia, the IndianSubcontinent).India was religiously pluralistic by the 6thcentury BC and there was a significant degree of syncretism.Today, there are Hindus (80.5%); Muslims (13.5%); Christians (2.3%); Sikhs (1.9%); Buddhists (.8%)-despite being the birthplace, most of the Hindus are refugees from Tibetan cultural areas, and modernconverts to transcend caste status; Jains (.4%). Small numbers of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Baha'i.Indus Civilization (now referred to as Harappan). Food production and pastoral society (6500 – 5000BC)- around the Indus River, agrarian society;Regionalization (5000 – 2600 BC);urbanization and integration (2600 – 1900 BC)- high point of the society Golden Age;“Late Harappan Period (regionalization) (1900 – 1000 BC);Vedic literature (1500 – 1000 BC).Characteristics of Indus Civilization. Urbanization, sophisticate artistic expression and production,sophisticated economy of trade between cities and with other civilizations (central Asia, Arabian Gulf,Indian Peninsula, Mesopotamia); urban planning (on a grid, water/sewer systems, water-tightconstruction); technological advancement (ceramics and brick, metal work, bead production); religiouspractices still unknown. Really top notch compared to any other civilization.There is a tempting trend to say that there is a tat for tat equivalence between the early Harappancivilization to modern Hinduism. No way of knowing- largely guess work.Three points!1.) Many have argued (although challenged) that there is not a single religion called Hinduism beforeBritish colonization. Hindu is a Persian word for a geographical region not a religious term. Morelikely to describe themselves as a worshiper of x god/goddess. Perhaps comparable to Christiandenomination. British tradition sought to categorize them, and called them Hindu. Some philosophicalevidence referencing to it as the 14thcentury referring to themselves as Hindu. It is now an acceptedterm by Hindus however.2) Oral versus written. 1500 BC is the origin of the Vedas, 1500 AD is the written format. Writing lendsitself to re-writing, rather than oral tradition with song and verse. Could have been composed earlier.Understanding of the Sanskrit language and the major differences of the language.3) The most unifying element of the many diverse Hindu traditions is deference to the Vedas as themost sacred scriptures. Despite changes in practice, viewing the Vedas as the source of all knowledge isa unifying factor.
Vocabulary:Sanskrit- (to do/ make, to redo, to remake; the perfect language or the language of the gods)- the