Hinduism - Day #4


In religion all other countries are paupers;
India is the only millionaire.
- Mark Twain

I know, it's Wikipedia, but this is a pretty extensive summary of The Satanic Verses controversy that we made reference to last session...

These are the articles for discussion today:

  • "'Love Guru,' Panned in U.S., Heads to India," The New York Times, June 20, 2008
  • "India Swears in 13th Prime Minister and First Sikh in Job," The New York Times, May 23, 2004
  • "Turbans Make Targets, Some Sikhs Find," The New York Times, June 15, 2008
  • "The Beliefs of the Jains," New Statesman, January 16, 2007
  • "Camp Joins Summer Fun With Teaching Hinduism," The New York Times, July 21, 2007

Religions influenced by Hinduism: Jainism and Sikhism

We will divide into four groups. Two will do some research and reading on Sikhism, and two will do the same with Jainism. We will present and discuss your findings.

DO THIS: Two of the four groups will investigate each religious faith that branches off from Hinduism: Jainism or Sikhism. (Buddhism, which also has its roots in Hindu tradition, will get more thorough coverage beginning soon.) You will probably have a little more than a half-hour to consult the web pages and sources provided.

Your job is to develop a "top ten" list of things you believe it is important for someone wanting an introduction to the faith to know. Notice that you are "required" to include certain items for each of the faiths. Some portion of your group will present the list to the rest of the class.

You might consider answering questions like these: Obviously, they are not all applicable to both of the faiths.

* When and how was the faith founded?
* Who was the founder of the faith?
* What other religions, if any, were "blended" with this faith?
* What values or beliefs are central to the religion?
* What symbols or rituals are associated with the religion?
* Where are adherents to the faith most heavily concentrated today?
* About how many people adhere to the faith?


Required terms and concepts: Mahavira, ahimsa, "Three Jewels"

Suggested Web Resources: Consult texts/books provided as well.

General Facts About Jainism: Pretty much what it sounds like.

Jain Students Group at University of Michigan: This has good links to a number of useful resources.

About.com: Jainism: There are good links to a number of Jain resources here. This is a very user-friendly site.


Required terms and concepts: Guru Nanak, Punjab, "Five K's", Golden Temple

Suggested Web Resources: Consult texts/books provided as well.

About.com: Sikhism: There are good links to a number of Sikh resources here. This is a very user-friendly site.

The Sikhism Home Page
: This site contains a number of useful links and graphics on the basics of the faith.

The SikhNetwork: This Sikh-maintained site links to many useful resources.

History of the Sikhs: The title pretty much says it all on this one.

HOMEWORK for next session: Hinduism - Day #5

You should continue with your reading in the Hinduism packet of articles.

You should have completed reading the Hinduism chapter in Huston Smith's The World's Religions. Blog Entry #2 - Hinduism is due by the start of class on Thursday, September 25th.

Your second Independent Assignment is also due on Thursday, September 25th. Consult the blog pages on the right for specifics.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Vergin published on September 23, 2008 8:00 AM.

Hinduism - Day #3 was the previous entry in this blog.

Hinduism - Day #5 is the next entry in this blog.

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