Syllabi for Teaching South Asian Religions


Syllabi for courses on Buddhism


Syllabi for courses on Christianity


Syllabi for courses on Islam


Syllabi for courses on Hinduism

Introduction to Hinduism Syllabi (Fall 2021)


Syllabi for courses on Jainism


Syllabi for courses on Sikhism

Thematic Courses

Syllabi for comparative and thematic courses.

Teaching Exercises

In-class Exercises

Writing Exercises

No links

Video Resources

Films for Teaching Religion in South Asia

Bibliography of films for teaching religion in South Asia submitted by Robin Rinehart (July 2020).

“338th Urs of Hazrat Sultan Bahu starts today”

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji leaving for Parkash – Sachkhand Sri Harmandir Sahib

The nightly “display of historic weapons” at the Akal Takht.  The whole display is 20 minutes or so, but it is posted on youtube in 2 videos; the URL for the first of these is

I usually only show the first two minutes or so, and then jump to 3:38 for the double-edged sword of Baba Deep Singh (since we have talked about him in class).  My focus in showing this is the importance of objects and memory in the Sikh community (as in Anne Murphy’s Materiality of the Past); it is instructive the first two weapons are Guru Hargobind’s two swords (miri and piri), which at least in the community narrative marks a dramatic shift in community attitudes. But a more basic question for students is: “What does it tell us that the Sikh community has kept and protected these objects for centuries?”

Hasan Minhaj from The Daily Show on American Sikhs facing Islamophobia.  It’s funny, but also deeply moving, as the Sikhs interviewed refuse to “throw Muslims under the bus” to avoid persecution themselves:

Manju Singh ( Shefali Shah) and her husband are hosting a get-together of families on a really warm night. Between the snacks, drinks and the laughs, something completely unexpected happens. Watch #JUICE, a powerful short written and directed by Neeraj Ghaywan.

A Suitable Girl 
A Suitable Girl follows three young women in India struggling to maintain their identities and follow their dreams amid intense pressure to get married. The film examines the women’s complex relationship with marriage, family, and society.
Also available on One of the three young woman portrayed is Sima Taparia’s daughter (Taparia is the matchmaker in Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking.”)

“Landrum Interviews Howard Thurman.”
Begins 43: 37.
Dr. Howard Thurman describes his (and his wife’s) visit to India and meeting with Gandhi.
Clips from the Faith in the Five Boroughs video series (subtitled, “Documenting Faith and Religion in New York’s Immigrant Communities”), though unfortunately it seems to have run its course with no new videos being produced: . “Dancing with Ganesha” filmed at the Flushing temple is particularly good, but all are worthwhile, and each clocks in at around five minutes.

The World Before Her (2012) which you can find online for free. It’s a great documentary following the lives of Indian women from three different social/professional spaces and how they navigate their gender identity, patriarchy, and social mores.

Two young women follow completely divergent paths in the new, modernizing India-one wants to become Miss India, the other is a fierce Hindu Nationalist prepared to kill and die for her beliefs.

An episode of Netflix’s new Home Game show tonight that focuses on Pelhwani wrestling in India and the very recent inclusion of women competitors. It’s only 22 minutes and offers some potentially productive talking points for students. It could also be used in conjunction with some of the other videos/films mentioned, particularly those focused on martial arts and/or gender.

“Chalo Hamara Des”  (
A journey in search of the ‘des’ (country) invoked in the poetry of the fifteenth-century mystic poet of North India–Kabir–this film interweaves the stories of two people from two very different countries, Indian folk singer Prahlad Tipanya and North American scholar Linda Hess. Where is Kabir’s country? The answer is elusive, as we journey through song and poem into these two lives, brought together in an unlikely friendship by the cross-cultural resonance of Kabir.



Films for Teaching Religion in South Asia Playlist

Short Clips for Teaching Hinduism

Bibliography of short clips for teaching Hinduism submitted by Robin Rinehart (July 2020)

17 min: What is Hinduism?

3 min: Introduction to Hinduism:

5 min: Hinduism in brief

3 min: Sanjay’s Super Team:

1 min: Even the Gods Wear Helmets:

4 min: On puja:

4 min: The science of yoga I Vipassana:

3 min: The science of yoga II Posture:

2 min: 74-year-old Kalaripayattu: