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Fields of Religious Interpretation: The Bhagavad Gita and War


January 5, 2016
7:30 pm - 8:50 pm
Event Category:


Building 260, Room 113

Lecture by Linda Hess (Stanford University). Sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies.

Part of a lecture series on “Religion, Violence, Nonviolence,” offered in conjunction with RELIGST 29 and RELIGST 119. Free and open to the public. Stanford students may register for credit; see Explore Courses for information.

For full list of lectures in the series, click here.

This lecture will introduce the study of religion and violence/nonviolence through discourse analysis, history, and social-political context. Taking the Hindu Bhagavad Gita as an exemplary text, Prof. Hess will show how it has been interpreted by some as promoting “just war” on a large scale and by others as teaching complete nonviolence.

Linda Hess is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies and organizer/instructor of this lecture series and associated courses. Specializing in religions of India/South Asia, her courses have included Gandhi and Nonviolence, Violence and Nonviolence, Hinduism, Yoga Ancient and Modern, Religious Poetry of India, Hindus and Muslims in South Asia, Religion and Performance. Her books are The Bijak of Kabir (rev. 2002), Singing Emptiness: Kumar Gandharva Performs the Poetry of Kabir (2009) and Bodies of Song: Kabir Oral Traditions and Performative Worlds in North India (2015).