JUDAISM AND HINDUISM
Fall 1993 T,Th 1-2:30, Physics 209
Professor David Blumenthal (7-7545; email@example.com) Professor Joyce Flueckiger (7-4642)
Introduction to basic questions and categories with which to approach the study of religions through examination of two religious traditions: Judaism and Hinduism. We will first examine each tradition through major categories of understanding articulated within each tradition and then broaden our questioning to consider both similarities and differences between these indigenous categories and the potential usefulness for dialogue between the traditions. Finally, we will consider the question, "What characterizes the religious experience?"
Xeroxed Readings: (indicated with * in syllabus)
Requirements: Active class attendance and participation is expected. There will be two hour-long, short-answer examinations, one after each tradition, plus a final take-home exam, choice of essay, which will be due when the final is scheduled. In addition, site visits are required, and there will be miscellaneous assignments to be handed in.
Site Visits : Students are expected to visit a synagogue and a Hindu temple during the period that we are studying each respective tradition. A 2-3 page report on what one has seen, one's reactions, and brief analysis in terms of the concepts we have discussed in class will be required. Site visits may be made in groups. Suggestions for and directions to possible site visits will be given in class.
I. Introduction -- 8/26
II. Judaism -- 8/31 - 9/20; hour exam 10/5
Israel (Peoplehood) -- 8/31
Halakha (the Way) -- 9/2, 7
Torah (Study) -- 9/9
History and Culture -- 9/14
(9/16 -- Rosh ha-Shana; no class)
Ha-Shem (God and Spirituality) -- 9/21
Gender Issues -- 9/23, guest lecturer
Open Session -- 9/28
(9/30 -- Sukkot; no class; rleld trips)
(10/S -- hour exam on Judaism)
III. Hinduism -- 10/7 - 11/11 ; hour exam 11/16
Introduction to Hinduism -- 10/7
(10/12 -- Fall Break; no classes)
Dharma, Karma, Samsara, Moksha (Hindu Orientations to Meaning) -- 10/14, 19
Darshan (Perceiving the Divine) -- 10/21
Puja (Worship) and Samskara (Life Cycle Ritual) -- 10/26, 28
Yatra (Pilgrimage) -- 11/4
Bhakti (Devotion) -- l 1/9
Open Session -- 1 1/1 1
(11/16 -- hour exam on Hinduism)
IV. "What is Religion? " -- 11/18 - 12/7
Comparisons -- 1 1/18, 23
(11/25 - Thanksgiving; no class)
Dialogue-- 11/30; 12/2
"What is Religion?" -- 12/7
Final take-home exam due: Friday, Dec. 10, 3:00 p.m., Religion office (Physics 312)
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This is a take-home, choice-of-topic essay, on one topic.
You may consult the readings, class notes, site visits, and any supplementary readings (we recommend The Encyclopedia of Religion and The Encyclopedia Judaica) ; you may not consult one another. The Emory Honor Code is in effect for this test.
The paper should be 8-10 pages, typed, double-spaced. Do not forget your name.
If you are doing this for writing credit , please indicate that clearly on the title page, and be sure to check all the English and organization carefully.
It is due in the Department of Religion office: Friday, December 10, at 3:00 p.m. Leeway is permitted until Monday, December 13th, at 5:00 p.m .
Introductory paragraph : tell us what you are going to tell us.
Part One : one tradition on your chosen topic: Fullness and accuracy count; so don't skimp on words, though there is no need to "pad" the paper. Show interrelations between ideas; relate ideas to actions; organize your presentation -- one item to a paragraph, paragraphs in sequence.
Part Two : the other tradition on your chosen topic: Same instructions. These two sections are primarily research and reporting.
Part Three : Dialogue: (a) What insights did you gain from studying these two traditions on this topic? (b) What could each of these traditions learn from the other? Be imaginative. Be reflective. This is not research; it is thought. From our point of view, this is the core of the course -- to get you to know enough to compare intelligently two religious traditions in a way that does not just list similarities and differences but sets the two traditions talking to one another through you.
Concluding paragraph : tell us what you have told us in one paragraph.
Label the sections with headings.
Choose only one topic. Any of the following are good. If you have another topic, please clear it with one of the instructors:
The topic of death cannot be used since we used it in class.
Take your time. Think and organize.
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