Religious studies Path of Faith Discussion Post

Path of Faith Discussion Post #1

Here are the questions I’d like you to discuss this week. They are meant to coincide with our study of Indic religions… in other words, with religions such as Hinduism and later Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism which emerge out of India. You can pick one or two of them to focus on; or you can simply respond to what other students have written! By the end of the week, you should have written about 300 words in total, whether that’s one longer post or a few shorter engagements.

For this discussion, I do not want you to do any additional research beyond what is available in Revel (Religion of the World by Lewis) and on Slate. You can even answer based on your own experience and/or understanding of the topic! But please don’t reproduce material from the Internet; I want to know what you think.

1) Is Hinduism, at its core, polytheistic or monotheistic? (Or better, “monistic”?)

2) The Kumbh Mela festival; the holy city of Varanasi; the supposed birthplace of Ram; it is clear from these and many other examples that Hinduism is closely bound to the land and places of the Indian subcontinent. How can we understand this connection between spirituality and particular “places”?

3) How do sacred stories like Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana encapsulate Hindu ideas about the self, the world, and the nature of the divine?


Note: Do not get any references outside the given references.