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Bloomsbury Companion to Hindu Studies released today

In a field as varied as Hindu Studies the need for a comprehensive guide has become urgent. OCHS Fellow, Dr. Jessica Frazier, has risen to the occasion as Editor of the Bloomsbury Companion to Hindu Studies.

This research guide, contains a foreword by Professor Gavin Flood, OCHS Academic Director, as well as sections that cover topics of historical and contemporary interest.

Part I, the introduction, discusses new perspectives on Hinduism. Parts II and III, on reading paths and the history of Hindu studies, respectively. Part IV contains essays specially commissioned for this volume 

Ayurveda and the Hindu Philosophical Systems

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 11 January 2014 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

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

Ayurveda is perhaps the oldest system of human medicine and looks at the human being in a holistic manner. What are the core principles of this system and how do they relate to the philosophical systems of thought in Hinduism? We look at Ayurveda and consider its place in these systems of thought.

Friends Event: Understanding the Perfect Hindu Scripture: An Exploration of the Bhagavad-gita

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 18 January 2014 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

A talk by Gopal Patel of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

In 2009 the OCHS launched the Bhumi Project, an international initiative to encourage Hindus to address environmental concerns, including climate change. Since then the Project has developed partnerships with interested parties in Africa, Europe and India. Initiatives include the Green Temple programme, which was launched at the White House in 2011, and the Green Pilgrimage Network - an effort to make pilgrim sites across India environmentally friendly.

Friends Event: Speaking of Shiva: eko hi rudro na dvitiyaya tashtuh

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 7 December 2013 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

A talk by Dr Nick Sutton of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Most Hindus will at various times in the year offer their devotion to Shiva but there is also a rich tradition, stretching back to the Vedas and Upanishads, which regards Shiva as the one Supreme Deity standing above all others, including even Vishnu and Krishna.  Over the centuries Shaivism has taken on a number of different forms and in this talk Nick Sutton will consider the nature of the Shaiva tradition, past and present, and the significance of Shiva for Hinduism today.

OCHS Publications – The Truth Within

What is truth? How does it relate to our understanding of the inner self? What role does religion play in this intersection between the two? Professor Gavin Flood, Academic Director of OCHS, explores these questions in his book The Truth Within: A History of Inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism.  

Part I focuses on the history and texts pertaining to inwardness, and the role of religion in shaping one’s inner reality. In Part II, he analyses the theory and phenomenology of inwardness, and engages in a comparison of three world religions. Integral to the volume is the idea of an

Sitting at the Guru's feet: Teachers, students and education in the Upanisads

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 2 November 2013 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

A talk by Dr Rembert Lutjeharms of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

The Upanisads are among the most influential Hindu sacred texts. Though often cryptic, they form the foundation of Vedantic discourse, and still influence the religious imagination of countless spiritual seekers, both traditional and modern. Its 'secret' teachings are often presented through the voices of Vedic teachers, and the roles these teachers play is central to these teachings.

Focusing on the stories found in these religious texts, this talk will explore the character of the Upanisadic gurus, the roles they

How to be God: A Tour through the many Vedantas

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 26 October 2013 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Dr Jessica Frazier of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.

Just how close are we to the divine, and just what role do we play for God?

Are we part of the divine ocean? God’s body? Movements in God’s dance, or notes in a divine song? Or just isolated mirrors of the divine light?

Thinkers from Sankara to Caitanya, Vivekananda and Gandhi have debated these issues - and our relations to other people, our relationship with the divine, and our hopes for Moksha all depend on the answer. In this session we visit the Gallery of Vedantas, and see which one wins your vote.

Nehru Centre talk: Am I a Hindu? Questions Young People Ask

Nehru Centre Event
Friday, 8 November 2013 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

A talk by Dr Nick Sutton of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

In this talk Nick Sutton will consider the position of young people of Indian descent who were born and have grown up in Britain.  The inspiration for this talk comes from actual encounters with young British Hindus who have raised the question of what it actually means to be a Hindu and how the religion and its adherents can be defined.  As the conclusion to this discussion we will also consider the position of Hinduism as a world religion and how it differs from other faiths in several significant ways.

Friends Event: Mythology and Meaning in Hinduism

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 30 November 2013 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

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

Hindu traditions are full of fabulous stories of monsters, milk oceans, magic, and heroism that defy all reason. Are these tales true or false? How do Hindu texts and teachers view these accounts and do they have any relevance today? This talk draws from the Upanishads, Puranas, Mahabharata, and Ramayana to weave together a discussion on the meaning of myth in Hindu tradition.

Friends Event: South India: The Heartland of Hinduism?

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 5 October 2013 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

A talk by Dr Nick Sutton of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Most Hindus are aware of the major contribution to the tradition that has come from the South of India in terms of both religious belief and practice.  In this talk, Nick Sutton will explore the history of South India along with its distinctive religious culture, and attempt to show how Dravidian Hinduism has had a major influence over all regions of the subcontinent

Nehru Centre talk: What the Mahabharata and Bhagavad-gita Reveal about the History and Religious Culture of India

Nehru Centre Event
Friday, 20 September 2013 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

A talk by Dr Nick Sutton of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

In this talk Dr Sutton will discuss the interaction between religion, philosophy and politics in ancient India and focus in particular on the rise of the Buddhist and Jain traditions in the subcontinent. These and other newer forms of religion represented a direct challenge to the hegemony of the Vedic elite and received extensive patronage from the rulers of India, but it would be a mistake to simplistically represent this as being a confrontation between Buddhism and Jainism on the one hand and Hinduism on the other.

Friends Event: Speaking of Shiva: eko hi rudro na dvitiyaya tashtuh

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 31 August 2013 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

A talk by Dr Nick Sutton of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Most Hindus will at various times in the year offer their devotion to Shiva but there is also a rich tradition, stretching back to the Vedas and Upanishads, which regards Shiva as the one Supreme Deity standing above all others, including even Vishnu and Krishna. Over the centuries Shaivism has taken on a number of different forms and in this talk Nick Sutton will consider the nature of the Shaiva tradition, past and present, and the significance of Shiva for Hinduism today.