Magic, Sex, and Scholasticism: Tantric Traditions in Asia and Beyond|
Spring 2021 not offered
The word "tantra" conjures many images: ritual feasts on illicit substances, sexual union in the service of religious transformation, alchemical journeys, and explorations of the erotic, the terrifying, and the sublime. But what precisely did tantra look like in practice? Were the worlds of tantra imagined by marginal outcastes? Monastic elites? Or were they just the wild fantasies of Western imperialists?
In this course, we will immerse ourselves in the worlds of tantra, through scriptures, ritual manuals, and art. We will read scholarship on tantra to probe the social and philosophical contexts in which tantra thrived. Finally, we will investigate the history of Western encounters with and appropriations of tantra, from Aleister Crowley to Sting.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (RELI)
Ronald M. Davidson, INDIAN ESOTERIC BUDDHISM: A SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE TANTRIC MOVEMENT
Rolf W. Giebel, THE VAIROCANABHISAMBODHI SUTRA
David Snellgrove, THE HEVAJRA TANTRA: A CRITICAL STUDY
Hugh B. Urban, TANTRA: SEX, SECRECY, POLITICS, AND POWER IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION
Christian K. Wedemeyer, MAKING SENSE OF TANTRIC BUDDHISM: HISTORY, SEMIOLOGY, AND TRANSGRESSION IN THE INDIAN TRADITIONS
David Gordon White, KISS OF THE YOGINI: "TANTRIC SEX" IN ITS SOUTH ASIAN CONTEXTS
|Examinations and Assignments: |
3 critical reflection papers (3-5 pages each)
1 longer (15-20 page) final paper, written in stages (proposal + bibliography, rough draft, final draft)
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course satisfies the "thematic approach" requirement for the Religion major.
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