The class will discuss the Śaiva tantric revelation. We will begin with the theistic or dualistic Śaiva Siddhānta through focussing on chapter 1 (the paśupaṭala) of Rāmakaṇṭha’s commentary on the Kiraṇa-tantra. We will see how Rāmakaṇṭha offers a conservative reading of revelation that he regards as the expression of the highest good (and which other teachings (śāstra) do not give).
Reading:Goodall, Dominic. Bhaṭṭa Rāmakaṇṭha’s Commentary on the Kiraṇatantra vol. 1 (Insitut Français de Pondichéry, 1998).
The last session will focus on the nature of theological reasoning that we have been engaged with in the course and the nature of theological reading. The last session will raise questions about whether reasoning is universal, the nature of Hindu theological truth, and the place of Hindu theological reasoning within the western academy.
MacIntyre, W. Three Rival Versions of Moral Inquiry: Encyclopedia, Genealogy and Tradition (University of Notre Dame Press, 1990).
Perhaps the shortest of the well-known sutra texts among Hindu traditions is The Bhakti Sutra of Narada, consisting only of 84 aphorisms. This work, however, possesses the most expressive and least cryptic aphorisms, as compared to other sutra texts, while providing the seeds for a remarkably comprehensive bhakti theology.
This seminar explores Jiva Gosvamin’s theology and raises the question of whether he could be described as a mystic.
Dr Lutjeharms holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Oriental Studies (Indology) from the University of Ghent, Belgium and a DPhil from the University of Oxford (Theology). His DPhil was on the poet and theologian Kavikarnapura.
In this seminar we examine two tendencies or spiritual languages in esoteric medieval Hindu traditions. On the one hand we have a style of mysticism that emphasizes a realisation or awakening in the world, usually accompanied by a monistic metaphysics, on the other we have a style and language of meditative ascent; that there is a journey from this world to the state of liberation through stages of development, often conceptualized as occurring within the body. The seminar will examine these tendencies with reference to particular texts.
The last Śaiva reading will be Kṣemarāja’s independent text the Pratyabhijñāhṛdaya and his auto-commentary. We shall focus on the first nine sūtras. We will see here a non-dualist tradition that contrasts with the Vedānta in its emphasis on the dynamic power (śakti) of its non-theistic absolute reality.
Reading: Kṣemarāja, Pratyabhijñāhṛdaya translated by Jaideva Singh (MLBD: Delhi, 1980).
This course offers a thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism for students of theology and religious studies. Focusing on the brahmanical tradition we will explore the textual sources, categories, practices and social institutions that formed that tradition. Primary texts in translation will provide the basis for reflection on issues such as dharma, renunciation, caste, and concepts of deity. We then move on to some of the major philosophical developments of the tradition, with particular emphasis on the Vedanta.
Purushottama Bilimoria, PhD is Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Studies at Deakin University in Australia and Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne. Visiting Professor and Lecturer at University of California, Berkeley and Dominican University, San Anselmo, and Shivadasani Fellow of Oxford University. His areas of specialist research and publications cover classical Indian philosophy and comparative ethics; Continental thought; cross-cultural philosophy of religion, diaspora studies; bioethics, and personal law in India.