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

Joel Brereton

Associate Professor Ph.D., Yale University

Interim Chair, Associate Professor
Joel Brereton

Contact

  • Phone: 512-475-6024
  • Office: WCH 4.122
  • Office Hours: SPRING 2014: W 1-3; F 2-3
  • Campus Mail Code: G9300

Biography

Courses taught:

Undergraduate:
History of Religions of Asia; History of Hindu Religious Traditions; Advanced Sanskrit Reading and Composition; The Rigveda (Sanskrit)

Graduate:

Advanced Sanskrit Reading and Composition; The Rigveda (Sanskrit); Languages and Literatures of Classical India

Interests

Sanskrit; Religious studies, Asian religions, Vedic studies

ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

31845 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 3.102
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 302 )
show description

This course surveys the central beliefs and patterns of life of living religious traditions of Asia. It will focus particularly on the basic texts or narratives of these traditions, on their essential histories, and on the concepts of humanity, the world, and the divine that are distinctive of each. In addition, the course will explore not only what people believe religiously but also what they do religiously.

 

Text:W. Oxtoby & R. Amore, World Religions: Religions of the East, 3rd ed. The Ramayana, retold by R.K. Narayan, The Life of the Buddha (Buddhacarita), translated by Patrick Olivelle, Zhuangzi: Basic Writings, translated by Burton Watson,

 

Grading:Each of three essays on the assigned reading 15%, Midterm exam 20%, Final exam 35%

SAN 330 • Sanskrit Drama

32770 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GAR 2.124
(also listed as SAN 384S )
show description

Prerequisite: Sanskrit 312L with a grade of at least C.

SAN 384S • Sanskrit Drama

32785 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GAR 2.124
(also listed as SAN 330 )
show description

Study of various aspects and periods of Sanskrit language and culture.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; and Sanskrit 325L, 330, or the equivalent, or consent of instructor.

ANS 384 • Middle Indic Languages & Lits

32260 • Spring 2014
Meets T 330pm-630pm WCH 4.134A
show description

Study of various aspects and periods of South Asian culture and society.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

31770 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 3.102
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 302 )
show description

This course surveys the central beliefs and patterns of life of living religious traditions of Asia. It will focus particularly on the basic texts or narratives of these traditions, on their essential histories, and on the concepts of humanity, the world, and the divine that are distinctive of each. In addition, the course will explore not only what people believe religiously but also what they do religiously.

 

Text:W. Oxtoby & R. Amore, World Religions: Religions of the East, 3rd ed. The Ramayana, retold by R.K. Narayan, The Life of the Buddha (Buddhacarita), translated by Patrick Olivelle, Zhuangzi: Basic Writings, translated by Burton Watson,

 

Grading:Each of three essays on the assigned reading 15%, Midterm exam 20%, Final exam 35%

ANS 340 • Hist Of Hindu Relig Traditions

31665 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ 1.306
(also listed as ANT 324L, CTI 375, HIS 364G, R S 321 )
show description

This course examines the principal themes of traditional Hinduism, the dominant religion of the Indian subcontinent.  It gives special attention to the historical development of the tradition and its relation to social and cultural life in India.  To the extent possible, the course will examine different forms of religious expression created within India.  These include written texts which have been significant in the Hindu tradition, but they also comprise rituals that have been central to religious life, patterns of social action that embody Hindu values, and images and architecture that display the form and powers of the world.

ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

31540 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 3.102
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 302 )
show description

This course surveys the central beliefs and patterns of life of living religious traditions of Asia.  It will focus particularly on the basic texts or narratives of these traditions, on their essential histories, and on the concepts of humanity, the world, and the divine that are distinctive of each.  In addition, the course will explore not only what people believe religiously but also what they do religiously.  Part of the course, therefore, will consider the ways of life, forms of social action, and rituals practiced by different communities.  Not all Asian traditions can be included in a one-semester survey.  The traditions chosen have large numbers of adherents, have particular historical significance, and represent different cultural areas.

SAN 330 • Vedic Poetry

32570 • Fall 2012
Meets W 300pm-600pm MEZ 1.204
(also listed as SAN 384S )
show description

Prerequisite: Sanskrit 312L with a grade of at least C.

SAN 384S • Vedic Poetry

32585 • Fall 2012
Meets W 300pm-600pm MEZ 1.204
(also listed as SAN 330 )
show description

Study of various aspects and periods of Sanskrit language and culture.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; and Sanskrit 325L, 330, or the equivalent, or consent of instructor.

ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

31425 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 3.102
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 302 )
show description

This course offers a survey of the major religious traditions of Asia (Hinduism, Buddhism in South and East Asia, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto). It focuses on the historical development of their beliefs, practices, rituals, and customs in social context. The course will combine lectures with class discussions on readings.

SAN 330 • The Upanishads

32448 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.104
(also listed as SAN 384S )
show description

For fall 2011, this course will study the upaniṣads, particularly the Br̥hadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad, together with a selection from Śaṅkara's commentary on the Br̥hadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad, and selections from the late upaniṣads

 

Texts:

Br̥hadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad from A. Weber, ed., Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa in the Mādhyaṃdina Recension

Selections from other upaniṣads from the editions in Patrick Olivelle, The Early Upaniṣads

Śaṅkara's commentary from G. Govinda Śāstrin, ed., Īśādidaśopaniṣadaḥ śaṅkarabhāṣyayutaḥ

 

Grading:

384S Class recitation 50%, Midterm 15%, Final 20%, Paper 15%

330   Class recitation 50%, Midterm 20%, Final 30%

SAN 330 • The Upanishads

32449 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CAL 221
(also listed as SAN 384S )
show description

Prerequisite: Sanskrit 312L with a grade of at least C.

SAN 384S • The Upanishads

32463 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.104
(also listed as SAN 330 )
show description

For fall 2011, this course will study the upaniṣads, particularly the Br̥hadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad, together with a selection from Śaṅkara's commentary on the Br̥hadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad, and selections from the late upaniṣads

 

Texts:

Br̥hadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad from A. Weber, ed., Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa in the Mādhyaṃdina Recension

Selections from other upaniṣads from the editions in Patrick Olivelle, The Early Upaniṣads

Śaṅkara's commentary from G. Govinda Śāstrin, ed., Īśādidaśopaniṣadaḥ śaṅkarabhāṣyayutaḥ

 

Grading:

384S Class recitation 50%, Midterm 15%, Final 20%, Paper 15%

330   Class recitation 50%, Midterm 20%, Final 30%

SAN 384S • The Upanishads

32464 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CAL 221
(also listed as SAN 330 )
show description

Study of various aspects and periods of Sanskrit language and culture.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; and Sanskrit 325L, 330, or the equivalent, or consent of instructor.

ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

30635 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 3.102
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 302 )
show description

This course will survey the central beliefs and patterns of life of living religious traditions of Asia.  It will focus particularly on the essential texts or narratives of these traditions, on the periods of their origins, and on the concepts of humanity, the world, and the divine that are distinctive of each.  In addition, the course will explore not only what people believe religiously but also what they do religiously.  Part of the course, therefore, will consider the ways of life, patterns of social action, and rituals practiced by different communities.  Not all Asian traditions can be included in a one-semester survey.  The traditions chosen have large numbers of adherents, or have particular historical significance, or represent different cultural areas.

TEXTS:

John L. Esposito et al., The Religions of Asia Today  
Burton Watson, tr., Zhuangzi:  Basic Writings
R. K. Narayan, tr., The Ramayana
Hiroaki Sato, tr., Basho's Narrow Road

GRADING:

Three quizzes            35%
Four essays            40%
Final                25%
Regrettably, excessive unexcused absences and persistent failure to prepare the assignments on time have deleterious effects on final grades for the class.  On the other hand, vigorous and informed participation in class discussions can help a grade.  Other factors, such as a student's progress or effort in the course, may also affect final grades for the class.

SAN 330 • The Suparnadhyaya

31960 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 1100-1230pm WCH 4.134A
(also listed as SAN 384S )
show description

SAN 384S (#31975) and SAN 330 (#31960)

The Supar??dhy?ya

spring 2010

 

Joel Brereton

Office:  WCH 4.134A

Email: jpb@austin.utexas.edu

Office Hours:  T 1:30-3:00, TH 1:30-3:00 and by appointment

 

This course will study the Supar??dhy?ya (also called the Supar??khy?na), a late Vedic poem that tells the story of Supar?a or Garu?a, the eagle that became the mount of Vi??u. It will emphasize the historical transition from Vedic to Epic poetic composition and the problems of textual corruption and restoration.  It will also study other versions of the Supar?a tale in the Yajurveda, the Mah?bh?rata, and the B?haddevata, and a possible ancestor of the story in the ?gveda.

Requirements:

 

For both SAN 384S and SAN 330, the course requires careful preparation of the text assigned for each class meeting, including the ability to translate the text and to analyze its grammar and syntax.  Both sections of the course also require two exams, and, in addition, SAN 384S requires an essay on a different early narrative.  The final grade will be determined as follows:

 

For SAN 384S

     Class recitation          40%

     Two exams, each          20%

     Essay                    20%

 

For SAN 330

     Class recitation          50%

     Two exams, each          25%

 

The grade for class recitation will depend on attendance and preparation, so it is important for everyone to be present and to be ready for each class.  Please discuss any anticipated absences with me before the class you expect to miss.

 

Grading:

 

This class uses plus-minus grading on a straight scale of 93-100 A, 90-92 A-, 87-89 B+, 83-86 B. 80-82 B-, 77-79 C+, 73-76 C, etc.  That is, the minimum grade for an A is 93, for an A- 90, for a B+ 87, and so on.

 

Posted Materials:

 

Texts and additional materials will be posted on Blackboard.  You can access the Blackboard site for this course from http://courses.utexas.edu/.

 

Special Needs:

 

At the beginning of the semester, students with disabilities who need special accommodations should notify the instructors by presenting a letter prepared by the Service for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Office. Students should contact the SSD Office at 471-6259 or 471-4641 TTY.

 

Academic Honesty:

 

Be careful not to copy the work of peers or in written work to use material without proper attribution.  Nothing can be more disastrous for your grade or for your college record than to be found to have violated the University rules on academic honesty.  Students who violate these rules are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course or dismissal from the University or both. If you have any questions about properly utilizing sources, check with the instructor.

 

Texts:

 

The principal text we will be using is based on Jarl Charpentier, ed., Die Suparnasage.  This text is available on the Blackboard website for the class.  All other assigned texts will also be posted on Blackboard.

 

Schedule: 

 

The exact schedule of the class will depend on our progress through the text, and students should expect that we will be doing a careful exegetical and grammatical analysis of each verse and passage.  Approximately two-thirds of the semester (that is, from January 19 to approximately April 1) will be dedicated to the Supar??dhy?ya itself and the remainder of the semester to parallel versions of the narrative in other Sanskrit sources.  The dates of the exams and the due date for the essay (in SAN 384S) are:

 

First exam                  March 25

Second exam            May 6

Essay                           April 22

 

The date of the first exam may be adjusted depending on our progress through the Supar??dhy?ya, but any change will be announced at least two weeks in advance.

 

Because unanticipated consequences of karma or daiva are possible, the instructor reserves the right to modify this syllabus with due notification.  Any such modifications will be noted in a revised syllabus.  

SAN 384S • The Suparnadhyaya

31975 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 1100-1230pm WCH 4.134A
(also listed as SAN 330 )
show description

SAN 384S (#31975) and SAN 330 (#31960)

The Supar??dhy?ya

spring 2010

 

Joel Brereton

Office:  WCH 4.134A

Email: jpb@austin.utexas.edu

Office Hours:  T 1:30-3:00, TH 1:30-3:00 and by appointment

 

This course will study the Supar??dhy?ya (also called the Supar??khy?na), a late Vedic poem that tells the story of Supar?a or Garu?a, the eagle that became the mount of Vi??u. It will emphasize the historical transition from Vedic to Epic poetic composition and the problems of textual corruption and restoration.  It will also study other versions of the Supar?a tale in the Yajurveda, the Mah?bh?rata, and the B?haddevata, and a possible ancestor of the story in the ?gveda.

Requirements:

 

For both SAN 384S and SAN 330, the course requires careful preparation of the text assigned for each class meeting, including the ability to translate the text and to analyze its grammar and syntax.  Both sections of the course also require two exams, and, in addition, SAN 384S requires an essay on a different early narrative.  The final grade will be determined as follows:

 

For SAN 384S

     Class recitation          40%

     Two exams, each          20%

     Essay                    20%

 

For SAN 330

     Class recitation          50%

     Two exams, each          25%

 

The grade for class recitation will depend on attendance and preparation, so it is important for everyone to be present and to be ready for each class.  Please discuss any anticipated absences with me before the class you expect to miss.

 

Grading:

 

This class uses plus-minus grading on a straight scale of 93-100 A, 90-92 A-, 87-89 B+, 83-86 B. 80-82 B-, 77-79 C+, 73-76 C, etc.  That is, the minimum grade for an A is 93, for an A- 90, for a B+ 87, and so on.

 

Posted Materials:

 

Texts and additional materials will be posted on Blackboard.  You can access the Blackboard site for this course from http://courses.utexas.edu/.

 

Special Needs:

 

At the beginning of the semester, students with disabilities who need special accommodations should notify the instructors by presenting a letter prepared by the Service for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Office. Students should contact the SSD Office at 471-6259 or 471-4641 TTY.

 

Academic Honesty:

 

Be careful not to copy the work of peers or in written work to use material without proper attribution.  Nothing can be more disastrous for your grade or for your college record than to be found to have violated the University rules on academic honesty.  Students who violate these rules are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course or dismissal from the University or both. If you have any questions about properly utilizing sources, check with the instructor.

 

Texts:

 

The principal text we will be using is based on Jarl Charpentier, ed., Die Suparnasage.  This text is available on the Blackboard website for the class.  All other assigned texts will also be posted on Blackboard.

 

Schedule: 

 

The exact schedule of the class will depend on our progress through the text, and students should expect that we will be doing a careful exegetical and grammatical analysis of each verse and passage.  Approximately two-thirds of the semester (that is, from January 19 to approximately April 1) will be dedicated to the Supar??dhy?ya itself and the remainder of the semester to parallel versions of the narrative in other Sanskrit sources.  The dates of the exams and the due date for the essay (in SAN 384S) are:

 

First exam                  March 25

Second exam            May 6

Essay                           April 22

 

The date of the first exam may be adjusted depending on our progress through the Supar??dhy?ya, but any change will be announced at least two weeks in advance.

 

Because unanticipated consequences of karma or daiva are possible, the instructor reserves the right to modify this syllabus with due notification.  Any such modifications will be noted in a revised syllabus.  

ANS 301R • History Of Religions Of Asia

31030 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 1000-1100 UTC 3.102
show description

 ANS 301R [#31030], R S 302 [#44485] 

HISTORY OF THE RELIGIONS OF ASIA 

Fall 2009 

 

Joel Brereton 

office: WCH 4.134A 

email:  jpb@austin.utexas.edu  

office hrs:  MW 11-12, Th 1-3 & by appt 

 

Nancy Stalker 

office:  WCH 5.124 

email:  nancy.stalker@mail.utexas.edu 

office hrs:  MF 11-12:30 & by appt. 

 

TA:  Maeri Megumi 

office: WMB 1.114 

email:   mmegumi@mail.utexas.edu 

office hrs:  T 10-11:30, W 12:30-2 & by appt. 

 

This course surveys the central beliefs and patterns of life of living religious traditions of 

Asia.  It will focus particularly on the basic texts or narratives of these traditions, on their 

essential histories, and on the concepts of humanity, the world, and the divine that are 

distinctive of each.  In addition, the course will explore not only what people believe 

religiously but also what they do religiously.  Part of the course, therefore, will consider 

the ways of life, forms of social action, and rituals practiced by different communities.  

Not all Asian traditions can be included in a one-semester survey.  The traditions chosen 

have large numbers of adherents, have particular historical significance, and represent 

different cultural areas.  There are no prerequisites for this class. 

 

Written Assignments and Attendance: 

 

Written assignments include four interpretive essays on the primary texts assigned in the 

course, a midterm, and a final.  The final exam is scheduled for Tuesday, December 15, 

9:00–12:00 noon. 

 

The final grade for written work will be determined as follows: 

 

Midterm   20% 

Three essays   45%  

Final exam   35% 

 

Regrettably, excessive unexcused absences (beyond 4) or persistent failure to prepare the 

assignments on time or both can result in a reduction of one full grade.  On the other hand, 

vigorous and informed participation in class discussions can help a grade, especially a marginal 

one.  Other factors, such as a student's progress or effort in the course, may also affect final 

grades for the class. 

 

Grading: 

 

This class uses plus-minus grading on a straight scale of 93-100 A, 90-92 A-, 87-89 B+, 

83-86 B. 80-82 B-, 77-79 C+, 73-76 C, 70-72 C-, etc. 

 

Posted Materials: 

 

Assignments, handouts, and some additional materials will be posted on Blackboard.  

You can access the Blackboard site for this course from http://courses.utexas.edu/.   

 

Special Needs:   

 

At the beginning of the semester, students with disabilities who need special 

accommodations should notify the instructors by presenting a letter prepared by the 

Service for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Office.  Students should contact the SSD 

Office at 471-6259 or 471-4641 TTY. 

 

Academic Honesty: 

 

Be careful not to copy the work of peers or to use material without proper attribution.  

Nothing can be more disastrous for your grade or for your college record than to be found 

to have violated the University rules on academic honesty.  Students who violate these 

rules are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course 

or dismissal from the University or both.  If you have any questions about properly 

utilizing sources, check with the TA or the instructors. 

 

Required Texts: 

 

John L. Esposito et al., Religions of Asia Today 

R. K. Narayan, tr., The Ramayana 

Patrick Olivelle, tr., The Buddhacarita:  Life of the Buddha (on Blackboard) 

Burton Watson, tr., Zhuangzi:  Basic Writings 

Peter Haskel, tr., Letting Go:  The Story of Zen Master T?sui 

 

Additional readings are available on the Blackboard site.  

 

Please note:  as are all things, the following schedule is subject to  modification

 

DATE TOPIC READING ASSIGNMENT 

 

HINDUISM 

 

August 

 

26 Introduction and the Hindu & Buddhist World 

 

28 The Hindu & Buddhist World Esposito, pp. 75-161 

 

31 Introduction to East Asian Worldview Esposito, pp. 245-253 

 

 

September 

 

  2 Shint?:  Gods & Rites  

 

  4 Shint? Film:  "Man, Gods, and Nature in Japan" 

 

  9 Gods & Rites of Traditional India 

 

11 The Story of R?ma The Ramayana 

 

14 The Story of R?ma The Ramayana 

 

16 The Story of R?ma The Ramayana 

 

18 Images of Beauty: K???a Essay on The Ramayana.  "Baby K???a," " 

K???a/K?liya," " K???a/Clothing," "R?sal?l?" 

 

21 Images of Power:  ?iva and Dev? "Brahm?," "?iva/Sages," "Durg?" 

 

23 Meditation and Insight 

 

ISLAM IN SOUTH ASIA 

 

25 The Unity and Diversity of Islam Esposito, pp. 335-357 

 

28 Islam in South Asia 

 

BUDDHISM 

 

30 Introduction to Buddhism Esposito, pp. 163-191 

 

October 

 

  2 Life of the Buddha Jataka stories, Buddhacarita (The Life of the 

Buddha

 

  5 Life of the Buddha Buddhacarita (The Life of the Buddha

 

  7 The Four Noble Truths "The Questions of King Milinda"  

 

  9 The Four Noble Truths "The Path" & Esposito, pp. 192-243 

 

12 The Four Noble Truths "Meditation" 

 

14 The Four Noble Truths  

 

 

16 Mah?y?na: Bodhisattvas & Buddhas Essay on The Life of the Buddha 

 

19 Mah?y?na: Emptiness & Mind Only "The Heart S?tra" "The Diamond S?tra" 

 

21 Vajray?na  

 

23 Midterm Exam 

 

EAST ASIAN TRADITIONS 

 

26 The Confucian Tradition "Mencius" "Filial Exemplars" 

 

28 The Confucian Tradition Esposito, pp. 254-285 

 

30 The Daoist Tradition Zhuangzi  

 

November 

 

  2 The Daoist Tradition Zhuangzi 

 

  4 Mah?y?na Buddhism in China Essay on Zhuangzi 

 

  6 New Schools of Buddhism in Japan Esposito, pp. 285-292 

 

  9 The Confucian Revival  

 

11 Developments in Buddhism  

 

13 Chan/Zen Master T?sui 

 

16 Chan/Zen Master T?sui 

 

18 Chan/Zen Master T?sui 

 

20 Entry of Christianity to East Asia "Kirishtan Monogatari," "The Beginning of 

Heaven and Earth" 

 

23 Religion and Nationalism 

 

25 Christianity in Modern E. Asia 

 

30 New Religions in Japan Esposito, pp. 292-296, 312-321 

 

 

December 

 

  2 New and Popular Religions in China and Korea Esposito, pp. 321-333 

 

  4 East Asian Religion in the American Imagination 

SAN 330 • The Rigveda

31490 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 1100-1230pm WCH 4.134A
(also listed as SAN 384S )
show description

Prerequisite: Sanskrit 312L with a grade of at least C.

SAN 384S • The Rigveda

31505 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 1100-1230pm WCH 4.134A
(also listed as SAN 330 )
show description

Study of various aspects and periods of Sanskrit language and culture.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; and Sanskrit 325L, 330, or the equivalent, or consent of instructor.

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