Universität Wien FIND

010087 VU Introducing Tantrism (2021S)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 1 - Katholische Theologie
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung


Hinweis: Ihr Anmeldezeitpunkt innerhalb der Frist hat keine Auswirkungen auf die Platzvergabe (kein "first come, first served").


Sprache: Englisch



Terminupdate 5.5.2021, die LV findet digital statt.

Do., 10.06.2021: 13:15 - 16:30
Fr., 11.06.2021: 9:45 - 14:45
Mi., 16.06.2021: 13:15 - 16:30
Do., 17.06.2021: 13:15 - 16:30
Fr., 18.06.2021: 9:45 - 14:45


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

The course is an introduction to the study of one of the most prominent but also misunderstood elements of the Indian religions: Tantric traditions. The participants of the course will be acquainted with the topics covering the origins, historical development, social institutions, initiation rituals, and esoteric aspects of Tantra in various religious contexts. Special interest will be given to the area of the various methods of the religious practice used in Tantric traditions. A dominant aspect of the course is the description of the most prominent Tantric traditions, namely those of Vaishnava, Śaiva, and Śakta, with an introduction to the Buddhist Tantric tradition. After completing the course students will be able to integrate and evaluate the knowledge about Tantric groups in and, in a limited degree, outside India. Students will be acquainted with the proposed methodologies for studying such religious phenomena.
During the course students will aquire knowledge and become aware of the critical academic study in regard to:
- the origin, developement, and classification of the main Tantric traditions;
- ritualistic and doctrinal aspects of Tantric traditions;
- basic terminology of Tantric studies in both Sanskrit and English;
- basic methods of primary text interpretation;
- main directions of the current research in Tantric studies.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

1/ Class participation (attendance and interaction during lectures): 30% of the final grade
2/ Final exam (classes + individual study of the required literature): 70% of the final grade

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Minimum requirements inlcude the basic knowledge about the main Tantric traditions in their ritualistic and doctrinal aspects, and the ability to successfully navigate the critical approaches applied in the study of such phenomena
In order to pass the oral assessment, a minimum of half of the exam questions need to be answered correctly.


Examination topics as well as literature selections will be provided at the first lecture and/or electronically through the university website (Moodle).


Reading list (selection)
- Bhattacharyya N.N., History of the Tantric Religion, New Delhi 1992.
- Dimock, E.C. The Place of the Hidden Moon: Erotic Mysticism in the Vaiṣṇava Sahajiyā Cult of Bengal, London&Chicago 1989 (excerpts).
- Hevajratantra. A critical study, transl. D.L. Snellgrove, Bangkok 2000.
- Hindu Tantrism, ed. S. Gupta, Leiden/Köln 1979 (excerpts).
- Lorenzen D.N., The Kapalikas and Kalamukhas. Two Lost Śaivite Sects, Delhi 1991 (Chapters I and II).
- McDaniel, J., The Madness of the Saints: Ecstatic Religion in Bengal, Chicago 1989 (excerpts).
- Tantra in Practice, ed. D.G. White, Princeton University Press, 2000 (selected articles).
- The Roots of Tantra, eds. Katherine Anne Harper, Robert L. Brown, SUNY series in Tantric Studies, 2000 (selected articles).
- Urban, Hugh, Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religion, London 2003, pp. 203-269.
- Sanderson A., Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions, in: The World’s Religion, ed. S. Sutherland, London 1988.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

066 800 M2.4, M15; A 033 195 (BRP 17rwb);

Letzte Änderung: Mi 05.05.2021 10:27