Religious Traditions of India - Course 2023
Art and Culture
Art and Culture
In this programme, specialists in different aspects of Indian religious and philosophical traditions introduce their innovative research and insights.
Religious Traditions of India aims to highlight the diversity of the South Asian religious, spiritual, and philosophical landscape and enable participants to compare and approach different forms of cultural and religious expression over time. The nine lectures that make up this training show that this diversity goes much deeper than the variety of colors and styles that we see on the surface. In addition to a wide range of religious and cultural practices and expressions, the Indian subcontinent has produced thinkers who have developed highly sophisticated philosophical ideas and traditions. Throughout these lectures that highlight aspects of Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, and Indian Islam, we see how religious practices can clash as well as overlap. How different interpretations continue to exist parallel to each other, or give rise to tension and conflict (intellectual or physical) until one of them gains the upper hand. How some forms of religious expression remain almost unchanged for centuries, others only occur in a specific period, and still others turn out to be brand new.
This lecture examines the role of referentiality and realism in early Buddhist narrative kāvya (Kumāralāta’s Kalpanāmaṇḍitikā Dṛṣṭāntapaṅkti and the Jātakamālās of Āryaśūra and Haribhaṭṭa) through the figure of the preacher, dhārmakathika. Such collections of edifying tales were used in the homilies of preachers, and the tales themselves give colourful illustrations of these preachers “in action”, revealing the social context of their work and the strategies used in delivering sermons.
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