Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

THEO 424 - Christianity and World Religions: Hinduism

A guide that serves as a brief introduction to several world religions. It is intended to whet your appetite for further study and to help you understand the religious beliefs of others in today's global society.

Keywords

Terms and Sample Questions

Advaita Vedanta
ahimsa
aryan
atman
Bhagavad-Gita
bhakti
Bhoodan
Brahma
Brahman (capital B)
brahman (lowercase b)
Brahmana
Brahmin
caste
constructive program
Dalit
Dalit theology
dharma
Gramdan
Harijan
jnana
karma
Kshatriya
Mahabharata
maya
moksha
nonviolence of the strong
nonviolence of the weak
outcastes
Ramayana
reincarnation
samsara
satya
satyagraha
scheduled castes
scheduled tribes
Shiva
Shruti
Shudra
Smriti
transmigration of souls
untouchables
Upanishads
Vaishya
varna
Vedanta
Vedas
Vishnu
yoga
yogi

Explain the doctrines of karma and reincarnation. How do they explain what we see in the world?

How do the Hindu ideas of Heaven and Hell differ from the Christian ideas of Heaven and Hell?

What goal might one who follows the great tradition be seeking to attain? What goal might one who follows the little tradition be seeking to attain? How might these different goals affect their choice of actions?

Why must moksha be attained, if at all, by our actions during our life on earth?

What are the four major varna or castes? What sorts of occupations would the members of each caste engage in?

Does the doctrine of karma discourage Hindus from helping the poor and the oppressed?

What are the “four stages of life” that twice-born Hindus expect to go through?

Explain Hindu attitudes toward war.

In the Bhagavad Gita, what three arguments does Krishna use to encourage Arjuna to fight?

How three arguments did Gandhi use to overcome the objection that the Gita justifies war?

If the Gita is revealed truth, why did Gandhi feel free to re-interpret it? What specific teaching of the Gita did he reject, and on what basis?

What did Gandhi think was the central message of the Gita?

If Krishna, an avatar or incarnation of the god Vishnu, urged Arjuna to go to battle, why did Gandhi dare to oppose war? Did he think he knew more than an incarnate god?

Be able to recognize the key principles of satyagraha according to Gandhi, and to discern when they are being incorrectly described.

Describe Gandhi's "constructive program"

Describe Vinba Bhave’s campaign of Bhoodan or land distribution: what it was, and how it began.

How did Bhave connect “bhakti” with “service”?

How did Bhave connect "action without desire for fruits" to “service”?