Religious Studies 350

RELN 350: Religion in India

Prerequisite: RELN 112

Credit Hours: (3)

This course provides students with an opportunity for advanced study in the historical development of religious thought and practice in India. It includes the study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Sikhism as well as minority religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and the faith of the Parsis.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course will open with a discussion of the history of the methodology of religious study. It will describe the major turning points in the history of religion in India. The study will be divided to cover the various periods, movements, and philosophical systems which have developed and finally to examine the modern period and the impact of British Rule on religion in India.

Possible textbooks include:

  • Embree, Ainslee (ed.). Sources of Indian Tradition: From the Beginning to 1800
  • Hay, Stephen. Sources of Indian Tradition: Modern India and Pakistan
  • Eck, Diana. Darshan: Seeing the Divine Images
  • Coomarswamy, Ananda and Sister Nivedita. Myths of the Hindus and the Buddhists


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course format will involve a combination of lectures, videos, and discussion. Lectures will provide a framework for the discussion of primary source materials and interpretative articles. Students will also be required to prepare either several brief written assignments or a 10-12 page term paper.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will learn to:

1. Recognize the varieties of religions in India.
2. Understand the impact of contact of other cultures upon religion in India.
3. Understand the basic teachings of the many religions in India and the changes in beliefs and practices which have occurred over time.
4. Enhance their ability to read and interpret religious texts and philosophical writings.


Assessment Measures

Generally speaking, essay exams will be utilized. However, various testing methods may be used. The term paper and/or written assignments will be graded on both style and content.


Other Course Information

This course fulfills a core requirement for Philosophy and Religious Studies majors with a concentration in religious studies and may be used as a department elective for all Philosophy and Religious Studies majors.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews


March 1993 Division of RELN 308 into two courses(407/408) Charles D. Taylor
May 1994 Added requirements for graduate credit. Kim J. Kipling, Chr.
May 1995 Catalog entry revised. Kim J. Kipling, Chr.
January 27, 1997 Number change Prerequisite change Approved by VPAA
April 17, 1998 Reviewed Kim Kipling
September 25, 2001 Reviewed Kim Kipling