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Term begins 16 July 2017

Vedas and Upanishads
This course provides a broad understanding of the Vedas and the Upanishads and the beliefs and practices they advocate. The Vedas and the Upanishads are truly vast in their extent and there are few if any who can claim to have full knowledge of their contents. Hence what we aim to do here is present a broad outline of the principal themes and then indulge in a more detailed study of a limited number of selected passages.
$175 AUD
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Introduction to Hinduism–Ritual, Yoga, Caste, and Gender
In this introduction to Hinduism, we look first of all at Hindu religious practice, including temple ritual and the meditational techniques of classical yoga. We then move on to explore social Hinduism, and in particular issues of caste and gender, before considering the ways in which the religion has sought to respond to the challenges posed by foreign rule and the onset of modernity. In the final part of the course, we take the opportunity to look in a little more detail at some of the great works of Hindu religious literature.
$175 AUD
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Introduction to Hinduism–History, Text, Philosophy
This course provides a broad survey of Hindu history, scripture, and thought. The principal idea here is to explore what is meant by the terms 'Hinduism' or 'Hindu Dharma' and thereby go some way towards an understanding of what is meant by the Hindu identity and the significance of this identity, both traditionally and in the modern world.
$175 AUD
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Philosophy of Yoga
A detailed study of the origins and development of Yoga. We begin with the ideas of Vedanta and Samkhya on which the earliest expositions of Yoga are based. This preliminary study will then provide a basis for a consideration of the teachings on Yoga found in the Upanishads, Bhagavad-gita, and Yoga Sutras as well as a thorough review of the Tantric roots of Hatha Yoga practice. This course gives a detailed understanding of the fundamental ideas on which Yoga practice is based and the ways in which it has developed during the ensuing millennia.
$175 AUD
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Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita is an exposition of belief and practice that has had an immeasurable influence on the formation of Hindu Dharma. In this course we study the main themes of Krishna’s discourse and the principal ideas within the eighteen chapters (700 verses) of Bhagavad Gita. You are provided with a full English translation of the Gita and discussions of the meaning and significance of these verses. We also reflect on the contemporary significance of the teachings and their relevance to the modern world.
$175 AUD
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Three Short Upanishads
This course is a detailed study of three of the shortest of the major Upanishads: the Kena, the Ishavasya and the Mandukya. Despite the brevity of these works, they are fundamental to the doctrines taught by Hindu Dharma. In many ways they can be regarded as foundational works for Hindu religious teachings. Because these Upanishads are so short we can undertake a verse-by-verse study, with reference to the commentary of Shankaracharya and others. As we proceed we will reflect on the significance of the teachings in relation to the contemporary practice of various forms of Hindu spirituality.
$175 AUD
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Course delivery is 100% online

Seven weekly sessions

Study in your own time

Your tutor is available by email and forums

You can communicate online with your fellow students


All course materials are delivered via the web

Student forums with tutor participation

Recorded lectures available in video and mp3 format

Lecture notes available online and as pdf

Audio interviews with specialists in Hindu Studies at Oxford University

Supplementary materials taken from the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies teaching and research programme


Assessment for each course is optional and is on the basis of successful completion of a single essay of 2000 words.

Don’t worry about technical skills – if you can handle email then you’re ready to go.


Courses can be completed in as little as seven weeks. There is a final deadline for essays of twelve weeks from the beginning of the course.

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These courses are taught by the Continuing Education Department of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, a Recognised Independent Centre of the University of Oxford and a registered charity.

The principal aim of the Centre is the study of Hindu culture, religion, languages, literature, philosophy, history, arts, and society, in all periods and in all parts of the world. All Hindu traditions are included.

The Continuing Education Department of the OCHS has been providing courses in Hinduism throughout the UK since 2003. The online version of the course makes it accessible to students throughout the UK and globally.

Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies