Universität Wien FIND
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142540 SE From Divine Pleasures to Liberation: Spiritual Goals in Early Saivism (2022S)

Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung


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


max. 36 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch





Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

This course explores the range of spiritual goals encountered in Śaiva sources of the early medieval period in the context of the formation and development of different currents of religiosity in “classical Hinduism”. While liberation from transmigration (saṃsāra) – an aspiration originating in renouncer circles – is commonly considered central to most South-Asian religious traditions, early medieval textual sources and inscriptions reveal a broader range of spiritual goals, which were also entangled with Vedic imaginations of heavenly existence after death, mundane concerns of lay practitioners or the quest for super-natural powers (siddhis). This complex development marks a significant shift, through which spiritual goals of liberation (mukti) are no longer exclusively reserved for those who renounced worldly life and dedicated themselves to a spiritual practice, but become accessible to householder practitioners through ritual. By reading a selection of exemplary passages from different Śaiva works and excerpts of inscriptions, we will explore how different conceptualizations of spiritual goals and liberation were shaped by both, ascetic and householder ideals, as Śaiva traditions emerged as a prominent force in the religio-political landscape of the early medieval period.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

The assessment is based on the oral performance during the course (30%), a short presentation (20%), and a seminar paper (ca. 15 pages) (50%). Participants are expected to independently prepare the assigned texts, present their translations and interpretations, and engage in critical discussions of selected secondary sources.

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Intermediate knowledge of Sanskrit is required for the participation (completion of module MASK 1). Depending on the preference of the participants the working language of the course will be either German or English.



Extracts from primary literature and secondary literature will be announced and distributed before the individual sessions.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

MASK5, Diss.

Letzte Änderung: Mi 16.03.2022 11:28