R S 383 • Sacred Places in India
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
This graduate seminar considers the significance of the terms "sacred" and "place" in Indian religious traditions and how this is variably expressed in cultural practice. The focus is upon visual evidence and how to interept it, but other types of evidence such as textual and epigraphic will also be examined. For example, what does extant material reveal about relationships between the Buddhist site of Bodhgaya with the nearby Hindu Gaya? What are factors that govern the development of such sites, and can we identify the changes that such factors cause over time? By looking at a range of evidence, this seminar means to invoke a cross-disciplinary consideration of sacred places in India as well as how they have been studied.
Students will work in teams in order to present specific sites to other class members, but will also have the opportunity to develop specific interests in the topic of their research paper.