Religious Studies | Religion and Literature in Asia: Medieval Devotional Literature of India
R352 | 25866 | Manring, R.
The devotional literatures of India have remained popular for
centuries. Cutting across religious boundaries, from brief lyrical
poems to longer allegories, the material presents us with a wide
range of views of the Divine, and can help us to appreciate the
richness and diversity of Indian civilization and culture.
We'll read works by such writers as Antal (South Indian woman poet);
Kabir (from North India; his followers still can't agree on whether
he was Muslim or Hindu!); Sultan Bahu (Sufi); Mirabai (Rajasthani
princess-devotee of Krishna); Jayadeva (whose composition on the
love between Radha and Krishna scandalized some); and others.
Students interested in a particular medieval devotional author
(whether or not s/he is officially on the syllabus) will have the
opportunity to pursue that interest.
Other resources we'll use include:
- recorded versions of many of these pieces
- devotional films
- contemporary Bollywood (Hindi popular cinema)
As we study Indian esthetic theory and the various devotional
traditions, students will participate in classroom discussions
designed to assist them to complete a series of increasingly complex
assignments, culminating in a final paper exploring some of the
questions the devotional literature raises.