Authentic Power and Gender

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  • 3-credits

  • RELS 315/WMGS 397

  • Offered Fall, 2018)

  • This course presents “authentic power” as understood in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Here, “authentic power” is that which creates, supports, maintains and sustains life. It is understood as an expression of inter-dependent masculine and feminine “principles” both within and outside the individual self. That which seeks to manipulate, control, dominate, oppress or defend territory is here understood to be based in fear: it is an expression of cowardice and, as such, merits our compassion. We will trace the relationship of the masculine and feminine principles in the philosophy, mythology and experience of people in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of India and Tibet. Using historical and phenomenological approaches, we will reflect together on the nature of power – and the inter-action and transcendence of gender, cultural, and religious identities - in these societies as well as our own. No pre-requisite.