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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.

Friends Event: Understanding Love

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 7 September 2013 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

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

Indian culture is noted for its wonderful love poetry and none more beautiful than that of the bhakti poets. Their devotion has become one of the greatest influences on Hindu practice by cutting through stereotypes of caste, gender and religion.

This talk explores bhakti, or devotion, through the writings of Antal a South Indian poetess from the 8th century; Chaitanya, a 15th century Bengali saint and Mirabai, a 16th century Rajasthani princess.

Friends Event: The Six Systems of Hindu Philosophy

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 27 July 2013 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

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

Hinduism has a rich and diverse philosophical tradition dating back thousands of years to the Upanisads in the later Vedic period. The oldest of these constitute the earliest philosophical compositions known to man. These were elaborate and highly sophisticated doctrinal schemes and metaphysical speculation developed within Hinduism. The talk is an introductory bird’s eye view of the six classical Hindu philosophical systems.

Friends Event: Hindu Thought in Western Literature

Birmingham Friends Event
Saturday, 6 July 2013 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

In this talk we will look at the influence of Hindu thought on Western literature. We will visit authors, periods, and themes, travelling from ancient times, through the medieval period, buffeted by the European Enlightenment and the Romantics, through German, British, and Americian representatives of the 18th - 20th centuries. We will see if the influence served to distinguish Indian perspectives as desirable or as detestable, or both, and look at issues of concern raised from this creative interaction.

Friends Event: Understanding Love

Leicester Friends Event
Saturday, 29 June 2013 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

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

Indian culture is noted for its wonderful love poetry and none more beautiful than that of the bhakti poets. Their devotion has become one of the greatest influences on Hindu practice by cutting through stereotypes of caste, gender and religion.

This talk explores bhakti, or devotion, through the writings of Antal a South Indian poetess from the 8th century; Chaitanya, a 15th century Bengali saint and Mirabai, a 16th century Rajasthani princess.

Ashok Vaswani: From Bombay to Barclays

On 20 May, Mr Ashok Vaswani, CEO, Retail and Business Banking, at Barclays, delivered the final lecture of the 2013 Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies Leadership Series. The event at Oxford's Saïd Business School was sponsored by Deloitte.

In the lecture "From Bombay to Barclays", Mr Vaswani shared the ideas and influences that have led him to become head of Retail and Business Banking at Barclays. He spoke on the role that Indian thought, culture, and society have had on his career development as a business builder and on his philosophy on leadership and strategic thought and practice.

Friends Event: Hindu Thought in Western Literature

Shaunaka Rishi Das
Saturday, 25 May 2013 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

In this talk we will look at the influence of Hindu thought on Western literature. We will visit authors, periods, and themes, travelling from ancient times, through the medieval period, buffeted by the European Enlightenment and the Romantics, through German, British, and Americian representatives of the 18th - 20th centuries. We will see if the influence served to distinguish Indian perspectives as desirable or as detestable, or both, and look at issues of concern raised from this creative interaction.

OCHS courses return to London

After a break of three years, the OCHS Continuing Education courses return to London.

Understanding Hinduism, a seven session course will take place in Central London from 2 May and Harrow from 13 May.

The courses are co-tutored by Dr Nick Sutton and Anuradha Dooney and cover the following sessions.

Session 1: What is Hindu Identity?
Session 2: Origins and Early History of Hinduism
Session 3: Hinduism and Indian History
Session 4: Hindu Scriptures, the Religion of the Vedas
Session 5: Hindu Scriptures: Bhagavad-gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata
Session 6: Hindu Religious Philosophy: the Way