Chakra Announcements

OCHS Lectures and Seminars

Posted May 7, 2004

Trinity Term (April - June 2004)



Is There a Hindu Monotheism?
Prof Francis X. Clooney SJ

In light of Biblical and Christian reflection on monotheism (week I), an inquiry, by way of four examples (weeks 2-6), into the nature of Hindu belief in one supreme divinity, asking whether such belief can be termed "monotheistic." No background in Hindu studies required.


Week 1:

Refining the Question: Biblical and Christian Monotheism, Hindu Traditions, and the Problem of a Comparative Study of Monotheism

Week 2:

The Case for Krsna and Siva as the One True God: Early Resources in the Bhagavad-gita and Svetasvatara Upanisad

Week 3:

No lecture

Week 4:

Narayana Alone, in Medieval Tamil Vaisnavism: Tiruvaymoli 4.10 and Vedanta Desika's Srimat Rahasyatrayasara c. 6

Week 5:

Is the Goddess a Monotheist? Reflection on Three Goddess Hymns and the Devi Gita

Week 6:

In Dialogue with the West: Rammohun Roy and 19th Century Hindu Monotheisms

Tuesdays, 4pm - 5pm, commencing 27th April
Campion Hall, Brewer St., St Aldates.

The Distinguished Majewski Lecture
What do we learn from the Iconography of the Goddess

Dr Sanjukta Gupta, Oriental Institute

Week 4, Wednesday 19th May, at 5pm

Oriental Institute. Lecture Room One. All are welcome

Also please note:

Monotheism Reconsidered

In conjunction with Dr. Clooney's lectures on, "Is there a Hindu monotheism?" (Tuesdays, 4PM, Campion Hall, weeks 1-6 excepting Week 3) the following seminars will be held:


May 13th, 2 PM:

Christopher Melchert (Arabic and Islam, Oriental Institute), "Islamic Monotheism and Islamic Piety: in Conversation with Hindu Perspectives," Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, 15 Magdalen Street

May 18, 2 PM:

Madhavi Nevader (OCHJS & Oriel College): "A Jewish Understanding of Monotheism in the Hebrew Bible: in Conversation with Hindu Perspectives," Campion Hall

May 27th, 2PM:

George Pattison (Lady Margaret Professor, Theology): "A Christian Understanding of Monotheism: in Conversation with Hindu Perspectives," Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, 15 Magdalen Street

Sanskrit Readings

Prof. S. Ramaratnam

Vivekananda College, Chennai & OCHS Shivdasani Visiting Fellow

Prof. Ramaratnam will read Sanskrit with interested students at the Intermediate Level. Times and texts are subject to arrangement. Please contact the Centre if interested. Enquiries: e-mail: tel: 01865-304300

OCHS Seminars
Thursdays, 2pm, OCHS Library, 15 Madgalen St,


First Week (April 29th)

S. Ramaratnam, Vivekananda College, (Chennai) and Shivdasani Visiting Fellow "Funerals and Life after Death: Some Hindu Perspectives"

Second Week (May 6th)

Nick Allen, Social Anthropology, Oriental Institute "The importance of Bhishma for Indo-European cultural comparativism"

Third Week (May 13th)

Christopher Melchert, Arabic and Islam, Oriental Institute "Islamic Monotheism and Islamic Piety: in Conversation with Hindu Perspectives"

Forth Week (May 20th)

S. Ramaratnam and Francis Clooney (OCHS Academic Director) "A Conversation on Western and Indian Perspectives on Reading a Hindu Text: the case of the Bhagavad Gita."

Fifth Week (May 27th)

George Pattison (Lady Margaret Professor, Theology) "A Christian Understanding of Monotheism: in Conversation with Hindu Perspectives"

Sixth Week (June 3rd)

Jessica Frazier (Cambridge University, D.Phil. Cand.) "Continental Philosophy and Hindu Devotion: towards a metaphysics of passion."

Special History Seminar

Co-Sponsored by the South Asia Sub-Faculty (History) and the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

Indian Texts in Historical Context: Problems and Possibilities

Presentations include:

Friday, 7th May, 10am - 4pm, St Antony's College

Fin de Siecle Seminar Series

Two South Indian Hindu Comparativists: J. M Nallaswamy Pillai (Saiva) & Algonda Govindacharya (Vaisnava)

Francis X Clooney SJ, OCHS Academic Director

Thursday, May 6th, 5pm

Florey Room, Wolfson College

Convenor: Carol Peaker, e-mail:

Science and Religion Seminar

"Cultural Myths, Biological Forms and Subjective Qualities: Western and Hindu Views on the Philosophy of Biology."

Dr Brian Goodwin
Professor of Biology at the Schumacher College, Milton Keynes, UK

Wednesday, May 26th, 5pm
OCHS, Magdalen Street.

Convenor: Jonathan Edelmann

The Centre welcomes suggestions for other lectures and seminar topics. Contact the Academic Director at or 304 300.

Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies
15 Magdalen Street, Oxford OX1 3AE
(01865 304300)