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RELIGST 127: Love, Loss, and Devotion in Indian Literature (COMPLIT 137, HUMCORE 127)

Why are human cultures perennially preoccupied with love, and with what happens when it vanishes? Classical theorists in India have argued, at least, that love is the very foundation of aesthetic experience, and that love has something fundamental to teach us about the goals of human life and the nature of the divine. This course explores this deep preoccupation with love and longing for love through several influential works of courtly and devotional literature from medieval and early modern India. In dialogue with these classic works, we ask the following questions: How do we narrate the experience of love? What is the relationship between human love and love for the divine? Why does love, both human and divine, become lost or occluded? In other words, what is the meaning of suffering and loss, and how can it be overcome? This is the second of three courses in the South Asia track of the Humanities Core, dedicated to an exploration of some of the most enduring concepts and questions that South Asian cultures have wrestled with over the course of their history.
Last offered: Winter 2022 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
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