ANT4120EN - Survey of Anthropology of Religion: Hinduism

Course description

Survey of the interrelated religious traditions of South Asia that are often labeled Hinduism”. It examines the historical foundations, themes, practices, rituals and philosophical and theological thoughts of the three Hindu paths or margas—ritual, contemplative renunciation, and devotion—as they have been lived and practiced down to the present day.

How this course benefits students

Hinduism is one of the major world religions. According to Pew Research Center (2012), about 15% of the contemporary world’s people identify themselves as Hindus. In this course, students will gain religious and intercultural literacy of the people who account for a significant proportion of the world’s population. The course also provides learners with a framework, approaches and techniques that help them analyze Hinduism and its belief system. This knowledge will open doors for missional and career (service) opportunities for learners in South Asia and globally among South Asian immigrants.

Why this course is important

This course explores the broad diversity of people, religion, and culture of South Asia in general and Hinduism, in particular. It prepares missional leaders and practitioners for culturally appropriate communication with and service to the people in South Asia and immigrants of Hindu background worldwide. Knowledge of the philosophy and theology of Hinduism enables missional leaders to provide evidence-based answers to the questions people might ask as they encounter the gospel.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Samuel Jilo Dira, Professor of Cultural Anthropology

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

This course examines Hinduism and Hindu culture by taking the Bible as absolute truth.

Missionally driven

The main goal of this course is to educate and prepare learners to reach the people of Hindu background worldwide.

Contextually informed

This course examines Hinduism in global and regional socioeconomic, cultural, racial, and gender issues contexts.

Interculturally focused

The course examines Hinduism from the perspectives of diverse cultures of South Asia.

Practically minded

Students will learn Hinduism as well as approaches and techniques of how to reach and serve people from Hindu backgrounds.

Experientially transformed

The course will give due attention to the approaches and techniques that will enable students to change their knowledge from this course into lived experiences by practicing them in different sociocultural contexts.