Units of Study

RLST2603 - Classical Hinduism

Semester 2, 2012  |  Credit Points: 6

Coordinator: Christopher Humphrey Hartney


This unit of study examines the origins and development of Hindu traditions on the Indian subcontinent, from the time of the Indus Valley Civilisation until the medieval period. The unit of study examines the Vedic period and then via the teachings of the Upanishads traces the emergence of theistic traditions centred on Shiva, Vishnu and the Goddess; and non-theistic traditions centred on Brahman as the impersonal ground of reality. Traditions which stress engagement in the world, and traditions focussed on renunciation and the development of ascetic techniques aimed at liberation from the world, will be examined; as will the epic and dramatic traditions which find expression in the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the major Puranas. The synthesis of epic and philosophy in the Bhagavad Gita will be an object of special study.


1x2500wd essay (50%), 1x1000wd tutorial paper and participation (20%), 1x1500wd take-home paper (30%)


1x2-hr lecture/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week



Assumed Knowledge

12 Junior credit points from Religious Studies, or their equivalent to be assessed by the Department

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