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Tantric Religion in South Asia

REL 395/SAS 395

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This course introduces students to the Tantric traditions of premodern India through a close study of the idealized religious careers of Tantric initiates. It uses primary sources (in translation) to reconstruct the milestones, practices, and experiences that defined what it meant to be a member of a Hindu or Buddhist Tantric community. We will consider especially the broader religious context, Tantric initiation, and post-initiatory rituals involving yogic exercises, sexual practices, and violent sorcery. Students will also gain an understanding of the relationship between Hindu and Buddhist forms of Tantric scripture and practice.
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Section C01