Skip directly to content

Forthcoming lectures

Introduction to Sanskrit: Week One

Prof. Gavin Flood
Monday, 28 April 2014 - 10:00am to 11:00am
OCHS Library

An Introduction to Vedantic Hermeneutics: Jayatīrtha's Commentary on the Īśā Upaniṣad: Session One

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Monday, 28 April 2014 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
OCHS Library

Hindu theology, and particularly Vedānta, is grounded in the reading of sacred texts and has been largely developed in commentaries on those texts. This Sanskrit reading class will explore the way Vaiṣṇava Vedānta develops its theology through a careful reading of the Upaniṣads. This term, we will read the commentaries on the Īśā Upaniṣad by Jayatīrtha, an important Dvaita theologian, paying particular attention to the way he builds on the commentary of his predecessor Madhva, and how he develops his theology. This reading class aims to introduce students with an intermediate knowledge of Sanskrit to the style and reasoning of Sanskrit commentaries as well as the fundamentals of Vaiṣṇava Vedānta.

Introduction to Sanskrit: Week One

Prof. Gavin Flood
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
OCHS Library

Graduate Seminars in Indic Religion: Session One

Graduate Seminars in Indic Religions
Friday, 2 May 2014 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
OCHS Library

Convenors: Tristan Elby and Lucian Wong

Introduction to Sanskrit: Week Two

Prof. Gavin Flood
Monday, 5 May 2014 - 10:00am to 11:00am
OCHS Library

An Introduction to Vedantic Hermeneutics: Jayatīrtha's Commentary on the Īśā Upaniṣad: Session Two

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Monday, 5 May 2014 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
OCHS Library

Hindu theology, and particularly Vedānta, is grounded in the reading of sacred texts and has been largely developed in commentaries on those texts. This Sanskrit reading class will explore the way Vaiṣṇava Vedānta develops its theology through a careful reading of the Upaniṣads. This term, we will read the commentaries on the Īśā Upaniṣad by Jayatīrtha, an important Dvaita theologian, paying particular attention to the way he builds on the commentary of his predecessor Madhva, and how he develops his theology. This reading class aims to introduce students with an intermediate knowledge of Sanskrit to the style and reasoning of Sanskrit commentaries as well as the fundamentals of Vaiṣṇava Vedānta.

Introduction to Sanskrit: Week Two

Prof. Gavin Flood
Wednesday, 7 May 2014 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
OCHS Library

Renunciation and service: the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, the Vivekananda Kendra, and Swami Vivekananda’s legacy

Majewski Lecture
Professor Gwilym Begerlegge
Wednesday, 7 May 2014 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Oriental Institute, Lecture Room 1

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) has been an influential but contentious figure in the history of recent Hindu tradition.  From the vantage point provided by the celebration of Vivekananda’s 150th Birth Anniversary during 2013/14, this lecture will explore aspects of Vivekananda’s legacy with particular reference to the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, the movement he founded, and the Vivekananda Kendra, which came into existence in 1972. Greatly influenced by both the Ramakrishna Math and Mission and the RSS, the Kendra promotes its own brand of Hindutva ideology in Vivekananda’s name. Through an examination of these two movements, the lecture will illustrate the diffuse and durable nature of Vivekananda’s influence, and in the process explain why Vivekananda has been judged by some to have been a contradictory and controversial figure.

Professor Gwilym Beckerlegge’s research has centred on the legacy of Swami Vivekananda and the practice of seva within the Ramakrishna Math and Mission and other contemporary Hindu movements, in particular the Vivekananda Kendra.  His most recent publications include the entries on the Ramakrishna Math and Mission and the Vivekananda Kendra in the Brill Encyclopaedia of Hinduism (2013), ‘Legacy of Service’ Frontline (The Hindu Newspaper Group, Chennai) 30/2: 25-31, 2013, ‘Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) 150 years on: critical studies of an influential Hindu guru’ in Religion Compass, Vol.7, No.10, 2013, pp.444-453, and ‘Eknath Ranade, gurus and jīvanvratīs (life-workers): Vivekananda Kendra’s promotion of the ‘Yoga Way of Life’’ in M.Singleton and E.Goldberg (eds.) Gurus of Modern Yoga (2014).

Graduate Seminars in Indic Religion: Session Two

Graduate Seminars in Indic Religions
Convenors: Tristan Elby and Lucian Wong
Friday, 9 May 2014 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
OCHS Library

Convenors: Tristan Elby and Lucian Wong

Introduction to Sanskrit: Week Three

Prof. Gavin Flood
Monday, 12 May 2014 - 10:00am to 11:00am
OCHS Library

An Introduction to Vedantic Hermeneutics: Jayatīrtha's Commentary on the Īśā Upaniṣad: Session Three

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Monday, 12 May 2014 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
OCHS Library

Hindu theology, and particularly Vedānta, is grounded in the reading of sacred texts and has been largely developed in commentaries on those texts. This Sanskrit reading class will explore the way Vaiṣṇava Vedānta develops its theology through a careful reading of the Upaniṣads. This term, we will read the commentaries on the Īśā Upaniṣad by Jayatīrtha, an important Dvaita theologian, paying particular attention to the way he builds on the commentary of his predecessor Madhva, and how he develops his theology. This reading class aims to introduce students with an intermediate knowledge of Sanskrit to the style and reasoning of Sanskrit commentaries as well as the fundamentals of Vaiṣṇava Vedānta.

Introduction to Sanskrit: Week Three

Prof. Gavin Flood
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
OCHS Library

Week 1: Gadamer's Biography: Beyond Theism and Atheism

Gadamer and Religion
Dr Jessica Frazier
Friday, 16 May 2014 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

Gadamer appears to be an unusually secular figure among the phenomenologists of his day; unlike those who began as theologians, his study of classical culture taught him to study religion dispassionately, while embracing religious arts as a channel for his own concerns. Influenced by “Swabian piety”, Bultmannn’s ‘demythologisation’, the spirituality and humanism of the classical world, 'free-thinkers' such as Goethe, Rilke, and Stefan George, and creative re-thinkers of the Christian tradition such as Scheler and Heidegger, Gadamer affirmed both the cultural contingency of faith, and its confessional power.

Graduate Seminars in Indic Religion: Session Three

Graduate Seminars in Indic Religions
Friday, 16 May 2014 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
OCHS Library

Convenors: Tristan Elby and Lucian Wong

Introduction to Sanskrit: Week Four

Prof. Gavin Flood
Monday, 19 May 2014 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
OCHS Library

Introduction to Sanskrit: Week Four

Prof. Gavin Flood
Monday, 19 May 2014 - 10:00am to 11:00am
OCHS Library

An Introduction to Vedantic Hermeneutics: Jayatīrtha's Commentary on the Īśā Upaniṣad: Session Four

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Monday, 19 May 2014 - 11:00am
OCHS Library

Hindu theology, and particularly Vedānta, is grounded in the reading of sacred texts and has been largely developed in commentaries on those texts. This Sanskrit reading class will explore the way Vaiṣṇava Vedānta develops its theology through a careful reading of the Upaniṣads. This term, we will read the commentaries on the Īśā Upaniṣad by Jayatīrtha, an important Dvaita theologian, paying particular attention to the way he builds on the commentary of his predecessor Madhva, and how he develops his theology. This reading class aims to introduce students with an intermediate knowledge of Sanskrit to the style and reasoning of Sanskrit commentaries as well as the fundamentals of Vaiṣṇava Vedānta.

Krishna's Place in an Overview Of Hindu Eroticism (śṛṅgāratā)

Dr. David Smith
Thursday, 22 May 2014 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

What is the role of eroticism in Hinduism? In so far as Krishna is erotic, how does he compare with other Hindu deities who have erotic aspects? My talk, based on chapters of my book in preparation on Hindu Eroticism, will address these questions, with reference to pre-modern sculpture, painting, and poetry.

Dr David Smith taught Hinduism, Sanskrit, and South Asian art at Lancaster University for many years. His most recent books are Hinduism and Modernity (Blackwell 2003), and two editions and translations of Sanskrit poetry for the Clay Sanskrit Library (Kumārasaṃbhava 2005 and Kādambarī 2009).

Negotiating the Scriptural Boundary in Early Modern South Asia: Appayya Dīkṣita and Jīva Gosvāmī on Madhva’s Untraceable Citations

Kiyokazu Okita
Thursday, 22 May 2014 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
OCHS Library

In an important paper published in 2012, Elisa Freschi effectively establishes the significance of what we might call ‘Quotation Studies’, an area of study which has been underexplored. Among many benefits such a study can yield, Freschi points out that the study of quotation can reveal the way in which an author understood authority in his / her tradition. In this context Freschi mentions an exciting case of Madhva’s untraceable citations, which Madhva uses to validate his own view.

As Freschi points out, the topic of Madhva’s quotes is a controversial one because many of the passages and the texts quoted by Madhva are found only in his works. For example, he would cite a passage and attributes it to certain text such as the Caturvedaśikhā, which no one ever heard of. Or after citing a verse, he would say iti varāhe but we do not find such a verse in the editions of the Purāṇa currently available. Or he would simply write iti ca, without telling us where his citation is coming from.

In the contemporary Indological field the topic of Madhva’s untraceable quotes has been systematically and extensively explored by Roque Mesquita, who argues that Madhva’s untraceable quotes are for the most part not actual quotes but his own creation. This claim has received considerable criticism from the scholars who belong to the Mādhva tradition. Therefore, in this presentation I shall first briefly describe the history and the nature of the modern day controversy concerning Madhva’s quotes. Then I briefly explore the possible implications of this controversy in relation to the Purāṇic study and the study of Vedānta as Hindu Theology. The main part of this presentation however consists of an exploration of the writings of two important Hindu Theologians in the sixteenth century namely Appayya Dīkṣita and Jīva Gosvāmī, who held opposing views on Madhva’s quotes. While Appayya rejects Madhva’s untraceable quotes to refute the latter’s Dvaita position, Jīva refers to the same quotes to validate his own Gauḍīya viewpoint. By examining these two authors, I hope to show the complexity involved in this topic, which in my view has not been fully addressed in Mesquita’s works.

Week 2: Gadamer's Hermeneutics: Bias, Understanding, and Expanding Horizons

Gadamer and Religion
Dr Jessica Frazier
Friday, 23 May 2014 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

Gadamer saw culture, religion, and art as 'living texts' that integrate our life experience into a meaningful worldview that allows us to think, act, and create. But no worldview is ever static or finished; in 'understanding' we use bias (that of ourselves and others) as the raw material from which a new worldview is created. In this respect Gadamer shares much with Aristotelian and later Vitalist thinkers. But Gadamer also affirms that texts can act poetically as 'angels', as he puts it in his studies of Rilke and Paul Celan, gesturing toward the transcendence of that which cannot be encompassed in human thought.

Graduate Seminars in Indic Religion: Session Four

Graduate Seminars in Indic Religions
Friday, 23 May 2014 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
OCHS Library

Convenors: Tristan Elby and Lucian Wong

An Introduction to Vedantic Hermeneutics: Jayatīrtha's Commentary on the Īśā Upaniṣad: Session Five

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Monday, 26 May 2014 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
OCHS Library

Hindu theology, and particularly Vedānta, is grounded in the reading of sacred texts and has been largely developed in commentaries on those texts. This Sanskrit reading class will explore the way Vaiṣṇava Vedānta develops its theology through a careful reading of the Upaniṣads. This term, we will read the commentaries on the Īśā Upaniṣad by Jayatīrtha, an important Dvaita theologian, paying particular attention to the way he builds on the commentary of his predecessor Madhva, and how he develops his theology. This reading class aims to introduce students with an intermediate knowledge of Sanskrit to the style and reasoning of Sanskrit commentaries as well as the fundamentals of Vaiṣṇava Vedānta.

Week 3: Gadamer's Metaphysics: Vitalism, Spirit, and Immanence

Gadamer and Religion
Dr Jessica Frazier
Friday, 30 May 2014 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

Amid theologies of Being and secular philosophies, Gadamer explored a middle ground of non-theistic perspectives, reclaiming a philosophy of immanent 'spirit'. in his work on Plato and Hegel, he was often in dialogue with the classical Greek and later German traditions of ‘pantheist’ or ‘immanentist’ thought found in Spinoza, Lessing, Schleiermacher, Dilthey, and others. In many respects, Gadamer appears as one of the twentieth century's first philosophers of immanence.

An Introduction to Vedantic Hermeneutics: Jayatīrtha's Commentary on the Īśā Upaniṣad: Session Six

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Monday, 2 June 2014 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
OCHS Library

Hindu theology, and particularly Vedānta, is grounded in the reading of sacred texts and has been largely developed in commentaries on those texts. This Sanskrit reading class will explore the way Vaiṣṇava Vedānta develops its theology through a careful reading of the Upaniṣads. This term, we will read the commentaries on the Īśā Upaniṣad by Jayatīrtha, an important Dvaita theologian, paying particular attention to the way he builds on the commentary of his predecessor Madhva, and how he develops his theology. This reading class aims to introduce students with an intermediate knowledge of Sanskrit to the style and reasoning of Sanskrit commentaries as well as the fundamentals of Vaiṣṇava Vedānta.

Week 4: Gadamer's Globalism: Culture, Difference and Pluralism

Gadamer and Religion
Dr Jessica Frazier
Friday, 6 June 2014 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
OCHS Library

In the later years of his career, at a retreat exploring religion on the Island of Capri with Derrida and other post-Heideggerian thinkers, Gadamer who insisted that attention to non-Western religions was essential for any steps forward. He encouraged cross--cultural scholars to see themselves as creatively opening up ever-expanding horizons of understanding within their own tradition, and gradually building a new global horizon. Seen in this light, the rich cultural plurality of modern globalism affords us the opportunity to continue a history-long process of growth.

An Introduction to Vedantic Hermeneutics: Jayatīrtha's Commentary on the Īśā Upaniṣad: Session Seven

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Monday, 9 June 2014 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
OCHS Library

Hindu theology, and particularly Vedānta, is grounded in the reading of sacred texts and has been largely developed in commentaries on those texts. This Sanskrit reading class will explore the way Vaiṣṇava Vedānta develops its theology through a careful reading of the Upaniṣads. This term, we will read the commentaries on the Īśā Upaniṣad by Jayatīrtha, an important Dvaita theologian, paying particular attention to the way he builds on the commentary of his predecessor Madhva, and how he develops his theology. This reading class aims to introduce students with an intermediate knowledge of Sanskrit to the style and reasoning of Sanskrit commentaries as well as the fundamentals of Vaiṣṇava Vedānta.

An Introduction to Vedantic Hermeneutics: Jayatīrtha's Commentary on the Īśā Upaniṣad: Session Eight

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Monday, 16 June 2014 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
OCHS Library

Hindu theology, and particularly Vedānta, is grounded in the reading of sacred texts and has been largely developed in commentaries on those texts. This Sanskrit reading class will explore the way Vaiṣṇava Vedānta develops its theology through a careful reading of the Upaniṣads. This term, we will read the commentaries on the Īśā Upaniṣad by Jayatīrtha, an important Dvaita theologian, paying particular attention to the way he builds on the commentary of his predecessor Madhva, and how he develops his theology. This reading class aims to introduce students with an intermediate knowledge of Sanskrit to the style and reasoning of Sanskrit commentaries as well as the fundamentals of Vaiṣṇava Vedānta.