Hinduism II (Paper 21 Bhakti Vernaculars): Session Six
These lectures will take up where Hinduism 1 left off, examining in particular conceptions of liberation and paths leading to it in the post-classical, post-Gupta period. After an introductory lecture that raises some theological questions about the relation of path to goal and the importance of ritual and asceticism, we will begin with an examination of the Vedanta. We will trace the development of devotion (bhakti) in the Vaishnava traditions. Here we will also examine the importance of ritual texts and the relation between ritual, devotion and yoga. Lastly we will trace the themes of liberation and path with examples from selected tantric traditions within Vaishnavism and Shaivism. We will end with an examination of contemporary Hinduism at village level and in its interaction with modernity. These lectures are aimed at students of theology and religious studies.