Courses on Hinduism offered by Catholic University of America

Nevada, Nov 30, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) The Catholic University of America (CUA), national university of the Catholic Church in the United States located in Washington DC, is offering various Hinduism related classes.

Courses include: introduction to Hinduism, Hinduism—Religion and Art, classic texts of Hinduism, God and Goddess in Hinduism, and Core Theological Texts and Motifs of Hinduism.

These Hinduism classes aim to acquaint students with iconography, temples, and theologies of the gods and goddesses of India: Vishnu, Krishna, Shiva, and Devi;  wisdom of Bhagavad-Gita, the Upanishads, devotional literature, and Indian philosophy; pilgrimages; culture and religious practices of contemporary Hindu communities in the Washington DC area; divine in Hinduism; nature of the soul and the body in relation to the divine; religious meanings of masculine and feminine in the divine; "chosen" divinities; forms of devotion; Hindu holy men and women; God(s) and Goddesses in “Hindu Theology”; etc.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, described CUA’s action as “a step in the right direction”.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that religion was a complex element of our lives and religion comprised much more than one’s own individual experience or specific tradition. God, as a sign of God’s munificence and benevolence, constructively wished presence of different faiths.

Rajan Zed urged the schools/departments of religion and philosophy of other major world universities to strengthen their Hinduism sections. Hinduism being the oldest religion with rich philosophical thought and a vast array of scriptures needed more exploration. Zed especially asked the Harvard, Cambridge, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, Stanford, Columbia, McGill, Australian National, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, Uppsala, and Utrecht universities to further enrich their Hinduism resources.

CUA, founded in 1887 by the United States Catholic bishops with the support of Pope Leo XIII, as a graduate research center just north of Capitol Hill, is now home to 12 schools and 21 research facilities and claims to be the only American university with ecclesiastical faculties granting canonical degrees in three disciplines. John H. Garvey is the President while Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron is Chairman of Board of Trustees.

Roman Catholicism is the largest of the Christian denominations and is headed by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about a billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.