2 Hinduism week 2 - Howdoweapproach Hinduism? Today/Thurs:

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How do we approach  “Hinduism”?
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Today/Thurs:  Overview of Different Approaches to  Hinduism. Popular Hinduism
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Tues/Thurs The sacred as an ubiquitous  experience   The concreteness god/embodied god Darshan The inseparability of the natural  supernatural The worldliness of Hinduism Morality 
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Next Week: Core concepts of  their history Specific topics from Kim Knott’s A Very  Short Introduction Presentation Groups will be formed
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Week 3: The Bhagavad Gita Read Sacred Text as insight into Hinduism Classical teachings + ideas of the sacred
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Today: Approaching Hinduism Historically  as a series of religio-cultural  developments. Classical Hinduism  (from 200ce) and all its  dimensions: Vedas, Sanskrit, Caste, Rituals,  Philosophical teachings and practices (yoga,  meditation) Popular Hinduism : as it is encountered and  pervasiveness of the sacred. 
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Basics of Classical Hinduism  Sacred Texts: Vedas, Upanishads, Gita Sacred Paths: Action, Meditation,  Devotion Caste, Purity Karma, Rebirth, Moksha
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Historically Religion can be approached through  historical  layers;   each period has provided  important elements of Hinduism. 1)Vedic Period (rituals and caste) 1200bce- 800bce 2) The Upanshadic critique (esotericism/ Self  as God) 800bce-300bce 3) Devotional practices (Gods, Goddesses,  Temples, Puja). 200bce-200ce
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Classic Hinduism Classic Hinduism =   Combination of all  the above layers.  By 200ce it is firmly established. Hindusim is “baffling” in part because of  this. (we want linear progression and  conceptual consistency but we do not find  this in Hinduism)
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Classical Hinduism Formulated by upper castes:  Brahmin- Priests for Upper Caste Hindus. Rites of Passage for Upper Caste Hindus Sacred Language (Sanskrit) and texts  (Vedas) Ritualistic .  Many rituals come from Vedic  period. Strong emphasis on order, on  aligning oneself with the cosmos.
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Fire Ritual by Priest
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Priestly Initiation Ritual
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Brahmin boy
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Puja by Brahmins
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Brahmin priest/Vedic ritual
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Classical Hinduism Classical Hinduism contains 2 powerful  and distinct ideas of God:  1)God-as-Self (esoteric).   “Advaita  school” 2)  God-as-Other (devotional)  “Dvaita  school”
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Western Scholarship particularly  interested in  Advaita.   No separation  between God and Self; we are God. 
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2 Hinduism week 2 - Howdoweapproach Hinduism? Today/Thurs:

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