South Asian Religions and Ecology

Spring 2017
W 3:30pm - 5:15pm
Area V
MDIV Requirements: 
Diversity, Non-Christian Religion
Permission Not Required
No Limit to Enrollment
Course Description: 

This hybrid online course introduces the South Asian religious traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism and briefly Jainism.  These traditions are studied in the context of the emerging field of religion and ecology.  This overview course identifies developments in the traditions that highlight their ecological implications into the contemporary period.  In particular, it relates religious concepts, textual analysis, ritual activities, and institutional formations to engaged, on-the-ground environmental projects. It investigates the symbolic and lived expressions in religious ethics and practices that can be defined as religious ecologies.  Similarly, it identifies narratives in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism that orient humans to the cosmos, namely, religious cosmologies. This interrelationship of narratives and religious environmentalism provides pathways into the study of religion and ecology.  This is a six-week, two-credit course with a three-credit option. The course runs from January 18th to March 1st.

Background Expected: 


Course Requirements: 

This six-week flipped course is offered for Yale students, both graduate and undergraduate. In particular, it will engage students in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Divinity School, and the Department of Religious Studies.  A flipped course is a combination of in-person meetings with outside reading and video lectures. Two credits will be offered for the course.  If Yale Divinity School students wish to receive 3 credits for this online course, they can complete a 15 page paper on a topic approved by the instructors.

Students are expected to complete each week:

- 3 hours of viewing online lectures and videos

- 3 hours of reading books and articles

- online assignments posted to Canvas

- group discussions (online and in the classroom for one hour per week)

Basis of Evaluation: 

Grades will be determined on the basis of the completion and quality of course readings, assignments, participation in postings, and group discussions online and in the classroom.

The software program Canvas is equipped to record completion of online readings and assignments and allows for faculty evaluation of written work.  The following areas will be assigned for completion and grade evaluation each week:

- viewing online lectures and videos (3 hours viewing each week) for 10%

- reading online articles (3 hours each week) for 10%

- weekly writing assignments for 20%

-  weekly responses to other students’ posting for 20%

- attendance and group discussions in classroom (1 hour each week) for 15%

- students will complete a 5 page paper for 25%