This course will introduce students to some of the major religious traditions of Asia that have existed from ancient times to the present. We shall consider representative material drawn especially from Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, Taoism and Confucianism, Shinto, and various other religions. Readings will consist largely of primary materials translated into English. The main focus of the course will be to highlight the central ideas and to ask how these ideas contribute to their respective world-view and ethical outlook of these religious traditions. While also emphasizing major themes such as ritual, death, worship, violence, and the role of religion in modernity, the course will try to highlight the ways in which Asian ideas simultaneously adapt to and yet resist the currents of colonialism, globalization, and capitalism. ASIAN 220 will give you the tools to think critically about the diversity of religious traditions, ideas and practices that exist in Asia, and to consider the difficulties attendant to upon the study of religion in general and Asian religions in particular.
Course requirements include completion of reading assignments and active participation in lectures and discussion (10%), two quizzes (30% each) and one final essay (7-10 pages). No extensions will be given and no late work will be accepted.
There are no prerequisites for the course.
There are three hours of lectures and one discussion per week.