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    Macalester College
  Jan 16, 2018
College Catalog 2017-2018

ASIA 236 - Sanskrit and Classical Religion in India

Cross-Listed as CLAS 202 , LING 236 , and RELI 236  
Like Latin and Greek in Europe, Sanskrit is a highly inflected language of scholarship and revered as the perfect medium for discourse on everything from science and sex to philosophy and religion. It flourished in its classical form after the age of the Buddha (5th century BC) and served as a scholarly lingua franca in India until the Islamic period. This course serves as an introduction to the grammar an script of Sanskrit, and we will advance to a point of reading simplified texts from the classical epic Ramayana.Students will be expected to attend class regularly and spend at least ten hours a week outside class studying the grammar and vocabulary. Without this sort of effort, no progress is possible in such a complex language. In addition to the rigorous study of the language, we will consider both the role of the language in classical Indian culture and religion, and some texts from the Ramayana, looking at both English translation and Sanskrit originals. Alternate years. (4 Credits)