Honor. Community. Jewish Values.

In partnership with B’nai Havurah

Myth, Land and Tradition: Making Modern Hinduism | Wednesday, November 3 at 12:00 pm at B’nai Havurah
In what ways are Hindu communities articulated, preserved, produced, and altered through stories and storytelling? This talk explores the intimate relationship between myth and community in the making of what we call “Hinduism” and what Hindus refer to as the practice of “sanātana dharma” or the eternal law. We will consider how myths inform and shape the cultural traditions, religious beliefs, and social and political structures of Hindu communities in contradictory and complementary ways. Hindu myths fall into four categories: myths that explain specific practices; myths justifying rituals; myths grounding philosophical beliefs and theological shifts in the tradition; and myths connected to land. We will see how myths operate paradoxically as both cultural “glue” and demarcations of difference, connecting elite and non-elite Hindu practices/beliefs through narrative iterations of community.

Presented by: Dheepa Sundaram, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Hindu Studies, Critical Theory and Digital Religion, the University of Denver.

Buddhism in the U.S. in Practice| Wednesday, December 1 at 12:00 pm at B’nai Havurah
This talk will introduce some of the ways that Buddhists in the contemporary world practice their tradition. Many people today associate Buddhism mainly with meditation, but meditation is just one of many ways that Buddhists put their traditions into practice. We will draw on examples from Buddhist communities in the US and Denver, highlighting practices such as religious festivals, community rituals, chanting and prayer, generosity, as well as meditation. Through these examples, we will see the rich diversity of Buddhist traditions in the US while also exploring some of the “glue” that holds them all together as Buddhists.

Presented by: Benjamin Nourse, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, the University of Denver.