Apr 19, 2021  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2020-21 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2020-21
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CLWR 3470 - Gandhi and the Gita: The Religious Roots of Nonviolent Resistance in Colonial India

How can a book that seeks to justify extreme violence inspire a man whose name is synonymous with peaceful protest? To answer this question, we will examine the life and thought of M. K. Gandhi through the lens of religion, focusing on the text that served as one of his chief inspirations, the Bhagavad Gita. The Gita is an ancient philosophical poem in which the god Krishna convinces the reluctant warrior Arjuna to initiate a war that will annihilate most of the human race. But to Gandhi, this text was the blueprint for the most successful nonviolent resistance movement in history, the campaign to free India from British control. By reading the Gita and works by and about Gandhi, students will examine the confluence of religion and politics that gave rise to Gandhi and to modern India.

Credit Hours: 3
General Education Code: 2CP
Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.
Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture
Grades: Eligible Grades: A-F,WP,WF,WN,FN,AU,I
Learning Outcomes:
  • Analyze and describe the religious roots of Gandhis anti-imperialist movement in India.
  • Describe key elements of the biography, philosophy, and historical significance of Mohandas K. Gandhi.
  • Differentiate Gandhi’s movement from other varieties of nonviolent resistance by analyzing and identifying its particular intellectual and political history.
  • Discuss the complex role the Gita played in the development of Gandhi’s thought.
  • Identify and define the historical contexts and the human actors that produced Gita as well as those who have interpreted its message over the years.

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