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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Spring 2008

ANS 301M • Shiva: The Great God of India

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
31040 MWF
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
RAS 215

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce Shiva, one of the three central deities in Hinduism, from a variety of perspectives. Shiva is generally described to students as the God of Destruction who, at the end of time, destroys the cosmos with his divine dance; however, to his devotees, Shiva undertakes much more than just the divine dance. In fact, Shiva is lord over all creatures; he is the source, sustainer, and destroyer of the universe; and he provides the soul with enlightenment, the release from the cycle of rebirth. Through the course of the semester, we will engage mythological narratives, temple architecture, art, and iconography, epic literature, devotional literature, ritual, and philosophy. Through engaging these different perspectives the student will gain a much broader and more specific understanding of this central deity. Since this course is designed to introduce students to representations of Shiva, no prior knowledge is required or assumed.

Grading Policy

10% attendence 20% quizzes (2 @ 10%) 20% midterm 30% final 20% final project


"The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent" by J.C. Harle "Home of the Dancing Sivan" by Paul Younger Select readings from "The Hindu Tradition--Readings in Orientalist Thought," by Ainslie T. Embree "Poems to Shiva," by Indira Peterson Select Readings from the "Puranic Encyclopedia," by Vittam Mani "The Dance of Shiva-Religion, Art and Poetry in South India," by David Smith.


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