Hinduism 101: An Introduction

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Course Description

Welcome to this basic, introductory course on Hinduism. In this course, the student will learn just some of 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.

Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required

Course Topics

Lesson 1: What is Hinduism?

Lesson 2: Origins

Lesson 3: Indo-Aryan Society

Lesson 4: Focal Points of Hinduism

Lesson 5: All About Karma

Lesson 6: Holy Books of Hinduism

Lesson 7: Hindu Deities

Lesson 8: Predestination and Reincarnation

Lesson 9: Common Hindu Traditions

Lesson 10: Hinduism and Yoga

Lesson 11: Mantras and Gunas

Lesson 12: Hindu Priests and Temples

Lesson 13: Hindu Customs

Lesson 14: Hindu Festivals

Lesson 15: Hindu Women in Society

Lesson 16: Hindu Foods

Lesson 17: Hinduism in the 21st Century

Lesson 18: Striving for Harmony and Peace

Course Materials

All course material will be provided in the lessons and netlinks. There are no required materials to purchase before taking the class.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz along with an assignment. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

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.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
An Introduction5
Lesson 1 Assignment25
Lesson 1 Exam10
Lesson 2 Assignment25
Lesson 2 Exam10
Lesson 3 Assignment25
Lesson 3 Exam10
Lesson 4 Assignment25
Lesson 4 Exam10
Lesson 5 Assignment25
Lesson 5 Exam10
Lesson 6 Assignment25
Lesson 6 Exam10
Lesson 7 Assignment25
Lesson 7 Exam10
Lesson 8 Assignment25
Lesson 8 Exam10
Lesson 9 Assignment25
Lesson 9 Exam10
Lesson 10 Assignment25
Lesson 10 Exam10
Lesson 11 Assignment25
Lesson 11 Exam10
Lesson 12 Assignment25
Lesson 12 Exam10
Lesson 13 Assignment25
Lesson 13 Exam10
Lesson 14 Assignment25
Lesson 14 Exam10
Lesson 15 Assignment25
Lesson 15 Exam10
Lesson 16 Assignment25
Lesson 16 Exam10
Lesson 17 Assignment25
Lesson 17 Exam10
Lesson 18 Assignment25
Lesson 18 Exam10
The Final Exam90
Total Points:725

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