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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

THEO3306 Hindu Traditions

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Mikel Burley

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Any THEO module(s)

This module is mutually exclusive with

THEO2201Hindu Traditions

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module provides both an introduction to the foundations and development of Hindu traditions (from approximately 1500 BCE to 1600 CE) and a close examination of ideas and practices that bear significantly upon modern-day Hinduism. Consideration is given to the cultural context of the Hindu traditions’ formation, and to the relation of Hindu to other religious traditions in early India. Students will develop skills in independent learning and group discussion of classical Hindu texts, concepts, philosophies and social and ritual movements. The module enables students to develop analytical and methodological approaches essential to the study of religion in particular and to other areas of social scientific and philosophical enquiry more broadly.


On completion of this module, students will understand the foundations and developments of Hindu traditions (circa 1500 BCE to 1600 CE); they will have considered the relationship of Hindu to other religious traditions in early India; they will have gained skills in independent learning, discussion and group work on classical Hindu texts, concepts and social and ritual developments; they will have been encouraged to consider, and prepare for, advanced study on Hinduism at Master's level.

Learning outcomes
This module will enable students to develop analytical and methodological approaches essential to the study of religion in particular and to other social sciences and humanities subject areas more broadly.


- Introduction to Harappan and Aryan religion and society and to Vedic texts (particularly Rig Veda and early Upanishads).
- Thematic study of Bhagavad Gita or Ramayana (dharma, yoga, karma, bhakti).
- Historical investigation of early Hindu social identities, ritual responsibilities, sectarian developments and philosophical movements.
- Critical analysis of the concept of Hinduism and of issues concerning Orientalism in the study of religions.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Seminar preparation
- Essay preparation
- Revision
- Course reading

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

• Observation of student participation in seminar discussions
• Checking of the notes that students have made in preparation for seminars
• Feedback on partial essay drafts and one-to-one discussion during the tutor’s office hours
• The first assessed essay will be submitted before the end of the teaching term; this will enable the module leader, as well as the students themselves, to become aware of strengths or weaknesses in students’ learning prior to the second essay submission.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 words50.00
Essay2000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 14:25:35


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