ASIAN 480 - Topics in Asian Studies
Section: 002 Bhagavad Gita: Critical Approaches to the Study of Hindu Scripture
Term: FA 2010
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
Graduate Standing
May be elected four times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

This class helps students understand the Bhagavad-Gita, a fundamental Hindu scriptural text, from a number of historical and critical approaches. The Bhagavad-Gita is a post-Vedic scriptural text. How does a post-Vedic scriptural text relate to the more ancient foundational scriptures, the Vedas? Why and how does this text claim to be authoritative? The Bhagavad-Gita is also located within the 100,000 verse epic Mahabharata. The Mahabharata, as we now have it, developed over many centuries, and most likely contains multiple layers belonging to different periods. How and where does the Bhagavad-Gita fit within this evolving history of the Mahabharata? Does that give us access to historical developments within Hinduism? Once formulated in its final form, the Bhagavad-Gita has been interpreted differently by successive traditional and modern interpreters. These interpretations differ so widely, that it is necessary to investigate how and why these interpretations differ so widely. Coming to the colonial period, the Bhagavad-Gita emerges as a text inspiring nationalist Indians to fight the British for freedom. However, even within this phase, interpreters like B.G. Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi came up with very different understanding of this text.

In general, this class is devoted to an understanding of critical issues relating to the Bhagavad-Gita, i.e., the history of the text, its transmission, its location within the history of Hinduism, its connections with political/cultural history, and its ancient and modern interpretations. Students will be expected to write critical summaries of the readings each week and two term papers.

ASIAN 480 - Topics in Asian Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
W 1:00PM - 4:00PM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
003 (SEM)
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
004 (SEM)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
005 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Coursepack Location:
will be available at Accu Copy, William & Maynard
The coursepack should be available a few days before the class at Accu Copy, located near the corner of William and Maynard. Other reading materials will be put on the CTOOLS webpage for the class.
ISBN: 9780048910288
The Bhagavadgita, Author: Radhakrishnan, S., Publisher: George Allen 1971
ISBN: 0195630858
The origins and development of classical Hinduism, Author: Basham, Arthur L., Publisher: Oxford Univ.Press 2006
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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