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Friends Event: Living with Diversity Today

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 6 February 2016 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

Rev Tom Wilson, Director of St Philips Centre, and Shaunaka Rishi Das of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

A public conversation to explore the issues and promote an open discussion. Leicester is one of the most diverse cities in Britain. How could people with such different cultural, religious, and culinary habits ever be truly British? Can British people really support Indian cricket? Three generations later and we ask similar questions of Eastern Europeans, Russians, and Somalians. How deep is our multiculturalism? Where does diversity start? What are the barriers?

OCHS Academic Director leaves for Singapore

Prof. Gavin Flood, the Academic Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies is leaving Oxford to take up a chair in Comparative Religion at the National University of Singapore after more than ten years invaluable service at the heart of Hindu Studies in Oxford.

While at the OCHS he was Consulting Editor of the Journal of Hindu Studies and produced three books: The Truth Within: A History of Inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism; The Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation; and The Importance Of Religion: Meaning In Our Strange World. His earlier work, Introduction to Hinduism,

Friends Event: Humility in the Gita

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 23 January 2016 -
7:00pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Shaunaka Rishi Das of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

The Bhagavad-gita is a conversation that takes place on a battlefield, just prior to a conflict that ends in death and misery for most of the participants. Its a strange text therefore in which to find humility emerging as one of its important principles. In fact humility is the basis on which Arjuna, one of the most valiant of the warriors present, finally decides to participate.

FOCHS Event: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Hindus

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 16 January 2016 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Anuradha Dooney of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Once again the New Year heralds hope for improvement in all areas of our lives. We all know we are capable of great intention and noble goals, yet behaviour often falls short of the plan. This talk does not promise to 'Change Your Life' or 'Make you Happy', but it does offer insights from characters in Hindu sacred texts who seem to get it together in difficult circumstance. How might a particular characteristic of Prahlad, Pariksit, Narada, Queen Kunti, and Valmiki, amongst others, help us today?

Friends Event: The Great Goddess in Hinduism

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 5 March 2016 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Silje Lyngar Einarsen of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

The emphasis placed on goddesses and the divine feminine makes Hinduism truly unique among the world religions. Not only does the feminine dimension permeate Hinduism in various forms—from the concept of prakṛti in Sāṃkhya philosophy to rural village goddesses—but the Goddess is also proclaimed as the highest reality in the monistic Śākta traditions. This talk will examine ways in which the divine feminine has been viewed in Hindu traditions.

Friends Event: A Hindu Vision of Childhood and Parenting

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 3 October 2015 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Brainerd prince of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and Saloni Patel

With the global effort to protect the rights of children, have we lost a healthy understanding of the role of the family as the centre of a child's social structure? How can Hindu approaches to children and particularly their relationship to parents offer a corrective to other modern notions – is there a Hindu contribution to the current debate on child rights?

Friends Event: Rama's Diwali

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 7 November 2015 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Anuradha Dooney of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Diwali is one of Hinduism’s most inclusive festivals and is now celebrated worldwide. One of the most famous of the many Diwali stories is the story of Lord Rama. What does Rama’s Diwali tell us about community and duty, morality and social responsibility? In this talk we look at the story and then go deeper to consider what insights Diwali can bring to the contemporary world.

HUM alumni dinner

On 24 September, Oxford’s Hindu Society, HUM, will be holding an alumni dinner in support of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.

HUM has always enjoyed close ties with the OCHS and this evening will bring together old friends for a three-course meal at the Regency Hotel, London, kindly provided by OCHS Benefactor, Mr Harish I.K. Patel.

The dinner will also be the launch of the HUM Alumni Community, allowing students to keep in touch with each other, the Centre, and Oxford.

The guest speaker for the evening will be Ramesh Venkataraman, a Senior Managing Director at Samena Capital, who will

Friends Event: Conversion in Hindu Culture

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 1 August 2015 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by by Shaunaka Rishi Das of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

The word conversion conjures up images of determined zealots, waving their book, and haranguing a fallen soul to turn to the one true God. The issue of conversion in India has resulted in death and the destruction of sacred places. Some Hindus stand firmly by the assertion that there is no conversion in Hindu tradition. Some say you become a Hindu only by birth, and others maintain that the impure should not even be allowed into temples.

Friends Event: Yoga Solutions to Stress and Suffering

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 11 July 2015 -
6:00pm to 9:30pm

A talk by Ramesh Pattni of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Patañjali's Yogasūtra (c. 300CE) gives a framework for understanding the causes of stress and suffering. What is the nature of suffering? Why do we experience anxiety and pain? How and from where do these arise? Are there solutions to suffering that can be long-lasting? These are some of the questions that Patañjali addresses in his compilation on Yoga in which he gives techniques by which stress and suffering can be alleviated and even eliminated.

Friends Event: Emotions in Hinduism: The Bhakti Traditions

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 6 June 2015 -
6:00pm to 9:30pm

A talk by Dr Kiyokazu Okita of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and The Hakubi Center for Advanced Research, Kyoto University, Japan

Have you ever fallen in love? Or have you become angry with someone? Strong emotions are often seen negatively since they can paralyse us and make us lose self-control. This is why detachment from worldly emotions and disciplining the mind are so important in the religious traditions of South Asia. However, emotions are so fundamental to our being that it seems impossible to do away with them completely.

Friends Event: Is Hinduism a religion?

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 2 May 2015 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Brainerd Prince of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Is Hinduism is a religion? The simple answer is yes – and no. It depends on how we understand the word 'religion'. We will look at the discussion on what religion is and what constitues a religion and try to understand how useful the very term 'religion' is in representing the life of most people of South Asian origin. Is Hinduism a religion as we understand the term or is it a diverse collection of traditions that reveal alternative ways of life?