"Contemporary Hindu, Jain, and Sikh Traditions of India"
Original Course dates: August 29-October3, 2013
Course Instructor: Dr. N.C. Mathur
Dr. N.C. Mathur is a member of the Executive Committee and currently joint Secretary of the India Association of Greater Tulsa (IAGT). IAGT's purpose is to:
altruistically promote communication and unity among people of Indian origin as well as those who have an interest in India;
nurture the local community's understanding of the language, culture and customs of people of Indian origin; and
provide cultural, educational, social, and charitable community services.
India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism (as well as Buddhism-a separate course in this program series). Hindusm is the religion of the majority in India and Nepal, and the third largest religion in the world, following Christianity and Islam, with approximately one billion followers. One of the oldest living religious traditions on earth, it has no specific founder or date of origin. Hindus call their religion the Sanatana Dharma, the eternal truth, or Vedic Dharma, the religion of Vedas.
During the first four weeks, the course will provide an introductory exploration of diverse Hindu religious traditions in ancient and contemporary contexts. Participants will become familiar with the religion's basic terminology, sacred literature, foundational beliefs and practices, and developmental history. They will consider India's encounter with the West, the legacy of colonialism, globalization, and social justice movements.
During the last two weeks, the course will introduce the history, texts, traditions and practices of the Jain and Sikh communities. Participants will have a special opportunity to visit the local Hindu Temple and participate as a group in India-Fest, highlighting the culture, food, art, dance, and music of India.