T4221 INDIA'S RELIGIOUS HERITAGE
January 1-28, 2014
Chennai, Madurai, Mamallapuram, Aurangabad, Delhi, and Agra
“India’s Religious Heritage” is an interdisciplinary study of the amazingly pluralistic culture and religions of India. Students will arrive in Chennai on the southeastern coast of India where Madras Christian College will host the group for the first portion of the course. From Chennai, students will visit the Meenashi Amman Temple in Madurai and Gandhigram University. Other day trips will include ancient “living” temples, ancient religious ruins, historical and recreational sites such as the Mamallapuram Dance Festival, a beach resort on the Indian Ocean, a sculptors’ colony, mosques, and Protestant and Roman Catholic churches. Students will address India’s caste system, religions, political economy, poverty, population, women’s issues, rural life, and the fine arts. Students will have the opportunity to practice yoga with a guru, play cricket, attend a Bollywood blockbuster with India’s famously rowdy audience, and learn to cook some of the quintessential Indian dishes. The class will then fly to New Delhi to study the history of India from its ancient roots to its contemporary moment. This will include a day trip to the Taj Mahal (the most exquisite monument ever built to a lost love), the National Museum of India, the oldest mosque in India as well as the largest mosque of India, a Gurdwara, the Bahai Temple of India, and the Gandhi Museum built at the site of the Mahatma’s tragic assassination. From Delhi, students will travel back to the 5th century Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain cave temples of Ellora and Ajanta. From here, students will travel to Mumbai where they will explore the commercial heart of modern India. This course is truly a once in a life time opportunity.
*Each home institution may have supplementary fees in addition to the price listed.
Comprehensive Fee Includes: Transportation and course arrangements as indicated, hotel accommodations in twin and triple rooms, continental breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. (subject to change)
The course does not have any academic prerequisites.
Wolpert, Stanley. India. 4th Edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.
Clothey, Fred. Religion in India: A Historical Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2007.
The Bhagavad-Gita. trans. Juan Mascoro. London: Penguin Classic, 2003.
10% Critical Reflection
20% Comprehensive Response Paper
Mladen Turk, Ph.D., Elmhurst College (630) 617-3782
Description of Faculty Director
Dr. Turk teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Elmhurst College. His area of specialization is the history and methodology of the scientific study of religion, but he has also taught broadly in world religions and American religious history. He has spent years studying Sanskrit, translating ancient Indian epics, and learning about the culture of India. Dr. Turk has taught this UMAIE course three times before.
Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2013
For more information on course content, contact Prof. Mladen Turk
On application procedures or logistical information, contact your study abroad office.