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Ordering Nature, Humanity, and Deities
RELI 303
Fall 2008 not offered

In the period between the 12th and 21st centuries, an epistemological revolution occurred that has resulted in a set of globalized, European-born epistemologies that have displaced most of the myriad forms of knowledge among indigenous peoples. The pervasiveness of these epistemologies testifies not just to the projected power of European imperialism but, also, to the persuasiveness of Western hegemony. Just as profoundly, the shift included efforts to categorize humans racially, religiously, and ethnically using systems of classification developed to categorize nature. This course considers this shift with an exploration of the epistemologies by which South Asian and Europeans knew their respective worlds in the premodern and modern periods. The analytic foundation of the course will rest on the examination of the categories by which cultures classified those worlds. Categories such as nature, humanity, and religion will be critically examined. The course will consider the preimperial forms of knowledge in Europe and South Asia, the development of Western empirical science, the influence of theology, and the evolution of contemporary academic disciplines through the imperial encounter with the peoples, land, and religions of the subcontinent, among other dominions. Because of the focus on the multiplicity of epistemologies, a variety of forms of expression--verbal and nonverbal--will be considered, including literature, historiography, art, museums, maps, and religious texts.

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS RELI
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (RELI)

Last Updated on MAY-29-2024
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