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Martha G. Newman, Chair BUR 529, Mailcode A3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-7737

Joel Brereton

Ph.D., Yale University

Associate Professor
Joel Brereton

Contact

  • Phone: 512-475-6024
  • Office: WCH 4.114
  • Office Hours: (Spring 2012) On leave
  • Campus Mail Code: G9300

Biography

Joel Brereton is Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Religious Studies and Chair of the Department of Asian Studies.  He received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale University.  Prior to coming to UT-Austin, he taught in the Department of Religion at Barnard College and the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Missouri, where he was Chair.

His research focuses on the religion and literature of early India, particularly the Vedas and Vedic interpretation.  He has published The Rgvedic Adityas as well as a number of articles and chapters on Indian religion.  His current project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a new translation with Stephanie Jamison (UCLA) of the oldest Sanskrit text, the Rig Veda.  Publication is forthcoming.

Interests

Religion & literature of early India | Vedic studies | Sanskrit | Asian religions

R S 302 • History Of Religions Of Asia

44095 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 3.102
(also listed as ANS 301R, CTI 310 )
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%

R S 302 • History Of Religions Of Asia

44130 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 3.102
(also listed as ANS 301R, CTI 310 )
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%

R S 321 • Hist Of Hindu Relig Traditions

43855 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm MEZ 1.306
(also listed as ANS 340, ANT 324L, CTI 375, HIS 364G )
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.

R S 302 • History Of Religions Of Asia

43660 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 3.102
(also listed as ANS 301R, CTI 310 )
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.

R S 302 • History Of Religions Of Asia

43560 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 3.102
(also listed as ANS 301R, CTI 310 )
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.

R S 302 • History Of Religions Of Asia

43515 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am UTC 3.102
(also listed as ANS 301R, CTI 310 )
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.

R S 302 • History Of Religions Of Asia

44485 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 1000-1100 UTC 3.102
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%

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