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Hinduism 101: An Introduction


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Course Description

Welcome to this introductory course on Hinduism. In this course, the student will learn the foundations of one of the oldest religions in the world. From the origins of Hinduism to the writings that shaped its historical development over centuries, non-Hindu students are introduced to a number of rather 'foreign' concepts.

While this course in no way claims to offer an in-depth view into every aspect of Hinduism and its concepts, we do want to touch upon the development and continual evolution of Hinduism in the past, and today. We'll talk briefly about the Indo-Aryan people from the Indus Valley region, known as the birthplace of Hinduism, and then focal points found in the practice of Hinduism. Topics relating to important scriptures found in Hinduism touch upon the Veda and the concept of Dharma.

 As students progress through the course, they'll learn about concepts like karma and the difference between mantras and tantras. Hindu deities will be explored, offering a glimpse into the most popular deities and holidays that still celebrate them today. You'll be introduced into concepts such as predestination and reincarnation and understand how such concepts helped shape Hindu society through the ages.

We'll then move on to talk about common Hindu customs and learn about the foods that Hindus can and cannot eat, customs regarding birth, marriage, death and funerals as well as how and why Yoga is such an important part of the practice of Hinduism. The functions of Hindu priests and temples and festivals is also briefly explored.

We'll wrap up this introductory course on Hinduism by exploring the contributions of various women in Hindu society who helped shaped India's history, past and present, as well as how Hinduism has adapted to 21st century attitudes. Finally, we'll conclude the course with common Hindu goals such as the continual search for peace and harmony, not only among Hindus, but also among all peoples and religions.
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Course Lessons

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Lesson 1: What is Hinduism?

Understanding how Hinduism differs from other world religions, its history, and its basic tenants are introduced in this course. 40 Total Points
  • Review Article: What is Hinduism?
  • Take Poll: Hinduism
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: Origins

In this lesson, we'll offer a brief introduction of Hinduism's history and origins. 35 Total Points
  • Review Article: History of Hinduism
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: Indo-Aryan Society

In this lesson, we'll briefly touched on Indo-Aryan society and how caste systems evolved. 35 Total Points
  • Review Article: Historical Origins of the Caste System
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: Focal Points of Hinduism

In this lesson, we'll offer a very brief introduction into some of the major focal points of Hinduism from a religious perspective. 35 Total Points
  • Review Article: The Vedas
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: All About Karma

Like many different religions, the concept of living a good and moral life offer rewards in the afterlife. 35 Total Points
  • Review Article: The Theory of Karma
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Holy Books of Hinduism

As in other religions, Hindus rely on the writings, texts and both written and oral traditions of the founders of Hinduism. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Holy Books of Hinduism; Sacred Texts of Hinduism
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Hindu Deities

In this lesson, we'll briefly discuss and address the concept of deities in Hinduism as well as the concept of the infinite Brahman, known as Īshvara. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Hindu Deities; Hindu Gods and Goddesses
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: Predestination and Reincarnation

Hindus believe that a soul is born repeatedly and may be reborn in the form of a human or an animal or a plant. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Reincarnation; Karma and Reincarnation
  • Take Poll: Reincarnation
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9. Common Hindu Traditions

Hinduism is a fluid religion, and as such, a variety of traditions that have been practiced since the origin of the Hindu way of life as a practice have also changed. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Hindu Traditions; The Hindu Way of Life
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: Hinduism and Yoga

In this lesson, we'll briefly discuss the importance of yoga, and the types of yoga practiced by Hindus around the world in their journey toward striving for more direct communication and spiritual companionship with God. 35 Total Points
  • Review Article: History of Yoga
  • Take Poll: Yoga
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11. Mantras and Gunas

Understanding what chanting is, why certain things are chanted, and the meaning of mantras and symbols in Hinduism, offers students a greater understanding of why it is done. 35 Total Points
  • Review Article: Mantra Chanting
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12: Hindu Priests and Temples

In this lesson, we'll illustrate and offer a brief introduction into the different types of temple styles, why they evolved over time, as well as a brief glimpse into the duties of a temple priest. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: The Hindu Temple; Hindu Temples
  • Take Poll: Hindu Temple
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Exam

Lesson 13: Hindu Customs

In this lesson, we'll introduce various Hindu customs, covering the lifespan of a religious follower from the pre-birth stage all the way until death, and subsequent funeral traditions and customs. 35 Total Points
  • Review Article: Rituals and Practices
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Exam

Lesson 14: Hindu Festivals

In this lesson, we'll discuss a selected number of festivals that take place each year. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Hindu Festivals; Festivals of Hinduism
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Exam

Lesson 15: Hindu Women in Society

In this lesson, we'll discuss the reverence accorded to Hindu women in the early centuries of Indo-Aryan development, and conclude our lesson with brief profiles of women throughout India, ancient and modern. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Women in Hinduism; The Status of Women
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Exam

Lesson 16: Hindu Foods

In this lesson, we will discuss Hindu foods and how they are regarded in a spiritual sense, as well as how those of the Hindu faith eat on a daily basis. 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Dietary Customs; Hinduism and Food
  • Complete: Lesson 16 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 16 Exam

Lesson 17: Hinduism in the 21st Century

In this lesson nearing the end of this basic introductory course on Hinduism, we'll discuss how Hinduism is practiced in the 21st century. 35 Total Points
  • Complete: Lesson 17 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 17 Exam

Lesson 18: Striving for Harmony and Peace

One of the most important aspects of Hinduism is tolerance, acceptance and harmony. 125 Total Points
  • Review Article: Hinduism and War
  • Complete: Lesson 18 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 18 Exam
  • Complete: The Final Exam

Bibliography & Online Resources

Bibliography & Online Resources 0 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Hinduism; Hinduism Resources
  • Take Poll: End of Course Poll
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
725
Total Course Points

Additional Course Information

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Course Title: Hinduism 101: An Introduction
Course Number: 7550557
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Category:
Course Type: General Education
CEU Value: 0.9 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: C. Michael McKenna
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $75.00

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Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define Hinduism is.
  • Describe origins of Hinduism.
  • Describe Indo-Aryan Society.
  • Describe Focal Points of Hinduism.
  • Recognize and define karma.
  • Know Holy Books of Hinduism.
  • Know Hindu Deities.
  • Describe predestination and reincarnation.
  • Describe common Hindu traditions.
  • Describe Hinduism and yoga.
  • Describe mantras and gunas.
  • Know Hindu priests and temples.
  • Describe Hindu customs.
  • Know Hindu festivals.
  • Describe Hindu women in society.
  • Identify Hindu foods.
  • Know Hinduism in the 21st century, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
 
 

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