Teaching “Hindu Mysticism”
This chapter addresses the primary themes, materials, and theoretical challenges in teaching Hindu mysticism. It includes an historical overview of the development of mystical elements within the Hindu religious traditions from the Vedas to the present; a thematic overview of the major elements of Hindu mysticism; and a larger theoretical discussion of the applicability of the term mysticism to Indian religious traditions and the politics of the study of these traditions in a postcolonial context. It reflects on the complex hermeneutical and political issues involved in the study of other mystical traditions in a postcolonial context. The chapter also raises much larger and more profound questions about the study of mysticism and the very nature of cross-cultural understanding. The chapter includes an extensive bibliography of texts and audiovisual materials as well as sample syllabi.
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