REL 371 Black Dharma

This course focuses on African American figures (e.g. Alice Coltrane, Jan Willis, Martin Luther King), who either practiced or engaged with Hinduism and Buddhism to build religious, ethical, political, and aesthetic selves and international solidarities. Throughout the course, we will explore and reflect upon how African Americans have addressed ethical questions of society (e.g. systemic and global racism, American gender and sexuality norms, political governance) as well of the individual (e.g. living ethically, healing personal trauma, and pursuing truth, love, and happiness). Through the course's readings, we will also engage critical and historical approaches to defining categories of race–like blackness, Hindu, and white–and religion–such as karma (action and consequence), dharma (right action), samsara (cycle of birth and rebirth), dukkha (suffering), and ahimsa (non-violence).


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