, 10 tweets, 2 min read
The American Academy of Religion has released new guidelines on what undergraduates should understand about religion prior to getting their degrees. A few highlights. THREAD
The AAR distinguishes the academic study of religion from other approaches, including Faith-based and Faith-sensitive. So, a believer viewpoint or one demanding reverence are distinct from an academic approach.
The AAR says that other approach (faith-based, etc.) "can supplement a religious studies approach to religious literacy" but alone they're unlikely to grant "core competencies about religion."
Among the AAR's benchmarks for religious literary for undergraduates are the following. I'm going to accompany each with an example from the history of Hinduism, since it's on my mind.
*Discern accurate and credible knowledge about diverse religious traditions and expressions

Know your sources. So, a 19th-century Christian missionary who wanted to discredit Hinduism is not a real credible source on actual Hindu practices and beliefs of the day.
*Recognize the internal diversity within religious traditions

Where to start? There's always more than one story in Hinduism. Hindus worship lots of different gods. Some Hindus identify as monotheists, whereas to others that's offensive (and some Hindus are atheists).
*Understand how religions have shaped—and are shaped by—the experiences and histories of individuals, communities, nations, and regions

The slow roll-out of the Bhakti movement in premodern India. How Hindu practices, esp. at temples, have adapted in the American context. etc.
Interpret how religious expressions make use of cultural symbols and artistic representations of their times and contexts

*Different Ramayanas over time. Iconography associated with specific Hindu deities and its various meanings and uses.
*Distinguish confessional or prescriptive statements made by religions from descriptive or analytical statements

What scholars publish vs. what a Brahmin priest says (although, if he's trained in Sanskrit texts, it gets complicated). Assignment: Peruse HAF's website and assess.
Here's the link folks. Enjoy: aarweb.org/aar-religious-…
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