Winter 2013: Sacred Dialogue

Interpreting and Embodying Sacred Texts Across Traditions

In the winter quarter, the 2012-2013 Bannan Institute will engage in an extended process of storytelling.  Lectures and events will explore the public significance of sacred texts from diverse contexts and traditions, including the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Scriptures, the Qur'an, the Bhagavata Purana, various Buddhist sutras, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This winter series will also highlight the multiple ways in which sacred texts make meaning in the public sphere, through narrative, critical analysis, illuminations, communal and personal interpretation, electronic media, proclamation, art, and interreligious engagement.

Creation and Chaos in Hindu Sacred Texts

by Ravi M. Gupta |

February 5, 2013 | 4 - 5:30 p.m.
St. Clare Room, Library and Learning Commons | MAP

A potter gently shapes a lump of clay upon her wheel. A carpenter hews and joins measured pieces of wood. Creation, we see, is often a process of reasoned thought and careful construction. And yet, just as often, creation arises in far more unpredictable circumstances—from chaos, transgression, and desire. In this lecture, we will examine the interplay of creation and chaos in Hindu sacred texts and its implications for our own times.

Ravi M. Gupta, is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at The College of William and Mary. He holds a doctoral degree in Hindu Studies from Oxford University and recently served as the Shivdasani Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. Ravi is the recipient of three awards for excellence in teaching. He is the author of The Caitanya Vai??ava Ved?nta of J?va Gosv?m?: When Knowledge Meets Devotion (Routledge, 2007) and co-editor of The Bh?gavata Pur??a: Sacred Text and Living Tradition (Columbia University Press, 2013). He is currently editing a volume on Caitanya Vai??ava philosophy for Ashgate’s World Philosophies series and co-authoring another book on the Bh?gavata Pur??a for Columbia University Press. Ravi’s research interests lie in the intersection of Ved?nta philosophy, north Indian devotional traditions, and Pur??ic commentary. He has lectured widely on these themes and is also a frequent participant in interreligious dialogue.

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Exhibits

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Dialoguing with Sacred Texts
This exhibit brings together contemporary artists, working in a variety of media, to engage the unfolding dynamic of sacred texts.

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