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Duty, Power, Pleasure, Release: Key Themes in Classical Indian Thought
ARHA 291
Spring 2010
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: HIST 277, RELI 236

According to thinkers in classical India, the goals of life were fourfold, encompassing the pursuit of social-moral duty (dharma), economic and political power (artha), bodily pleasure (kama), and, finally, release from the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (moksha). The "four goals" provide a useful key for understanding Indian intellectual history in its classical moment--roughly, the half millennium between the second and seventh centuries. This pivotal era witnessed the definition of new forms of social and political thought, the creation of new types of expressive literature in Sanskrit, and the crystallization of the Hindu religion. In this course, we explore classical Indian thought through a variety of theoretical and literary texts articulating the ideas and values of the age. Most of these works were originally written in Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language of culture and power that served as a lingua franca uniting vast portions of Southern Asia. The emphasis is on close reading and discussion of the translated texts themselves and critical engagement with the ideas and values they present.

Essential Capabilities: Intercultural Literacy, Interpretation
Interpretation: introduces various methods for interpreting literary texts
Intercultural Literacy: introduces cultural values of classical Indian civilization
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CGST-MN)(HIST-MN)(RELI-MN)(RELI)(SAST-MN)(SISP-Reli Conc)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on OCT-21-2021
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