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Religious Literatures of India

SAST 148.301
crosslisted as: SAST 148
TR 1:30-3

Beginning with the classical times until now, Indian religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity have a connected history with various literary forms such as poetry and prose narratives.  Why and how Indian literatures and religions share a similar history of such an influential narrative tradition?  Focusing on this primary question, we study the intersections of religions and literatures of India in classical, pre-modern and contemporary times. Throughout the course, we read several literary texts and learn to interpret and compare diverse literary practices that define the religions of India.  Most importantly, we try to capture the contours of the Indian religious writing articulated in multiple settings and many variations that include hymns, chants, epic verses, bhajans and prose narratives along with contemporary literary practices that deal with class, caste and gender discourses.