College Of Arts And Sciences | Non-Violence and the Struggle for Freedom
E103 | 0086 | Larson
9:05-9:55 TR SW 119
Non-violence as an ethical principle and a strategy for social change is one
of India's great contributions to world thought. It became most well-known
through the life and work of M.K. Gandhi during India's struggle for
independence from British imperialism, but its roots and basic formulation
go back to the ancient traditions of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain spirituality.
This TOPICS course proposes to look at the role and function of non-violence
as an idea and strategy in India's cultural heritage and will ask the basic
questions: How has the notion of "non-violence" (ahima) shaped the ethical
and political texture of India's culture and to what extent can the idea and
its practical implementation function outside of the Indian environment?
The influence of India's notion of non-violence on the American Civil Rights
movement and the Solidarity movement in Poland will also be examined. The
course will proceed largely through class discussions and seminar-like
presentations. Requirements will include two mid-term quizzes, a take-home
examination and a creative essay about student experiences of non-violence
and/or violence. Readings will include Ghandi's Autobiography, The Bhagavad
Gita, G.J. Larson's India's Agony Over Religion and C. Chapple's
Non-Violence to Animals, Earth and Self in Asian Traditions.