Hinduism Unit Guide
IB World Religions SL Unit #2
Unit Description: This unit will consist of four main parts:
1. In the first part we will look at the Hindu answer to the question: Why are we here? To do this we gain knowledge via inquiry and lecture to get a broad understanding of the religion. We will then explore some of the early creation myths, the different deities, and the Hindu view of the world. We will read and discuss key texts and ideas from the Vedas and Puranas.
2. The second part of this unit will try to answer the question: What is the human condition? from a Hindu perspective. We will look at the nature of humanity and its grounding in Hindu epics, The Ramayana and Mahabharata. We will also consider the importance of yoga and other Hindu puja and their practice. We will look at how these were traditionally viewed and how those views have changed today.
3. In the third part of this unit we will consider the question, from a Hindu perspective of Where are we going? We will look at Hindu ideas of reincarnation and their goal and role within Hindu society. We will closely examine, via discussion, the roles and ideas of dharma, samsara and moksha and how they impact daily Hindu life.
4. In the final part of the unit we will consider the final question of How do we get there? To do this we will look at the multiple paths—devotion, compassion, and knowledge, what they mean and how they impact daily life. We will also note how these ideas vary across the diverse religion and Indian subcontinent, and what it means to be a Hindu in the 21st century.
Themes & Key Ideas: Hindu
Readings: Norton Anthology of World Religions text:
from The Bhagavad Gita
from The Ramayana of Valmiki
from The Rig Veda
from The Puranas
from “Gospel of selfless action” by M. Gandhi
from Midnight’s Children by S. Rushdie
from Hinduism: A Cultural Perspective by D. Kinsley
from Religions of India in Practice by D. Lopez
Living Religions text
1. Hindu deities: You will have to research and understand the main role of Hindu deities, how they have functioned and how they function today.
2. Marga presentations: You will do extensive research on one type of Marga and explain your findings and its importance to the class.
3. Socratic Seminar: After reading a bunch of Hindu texts, we will have a major Socratic seminar about Hindu beliefs, practices and the world today.
Skill Development: Understand religious texts
Roles & impact of religion in historic and modern culture & society
Discussing sensitive issues