A unique tribute to Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji on his 550th birth anniversary, the School of Humanities and South Asian Studies at Harvard University has launched a short-term study on Sikhism.
The course will essentially focus on fundamentals of the Sikh way of life. The 4-week free self-paced course in English is available online and can be accessed on and iPad and iPhone. The course will have 5-10 hours of coaching per week.
The course will teach:
- Foundational Sikh text, the Japji, composed by Guru Nanak and is recited by Sikhs as a part of their morning prayers.
- The Holy Scripture, Sri Guru Granth Sahib
- Interpretative skills to engage in a nuanced reading of the Guru Granth Sahib
- Gurmat Sangeet, the Sikh musical tradition, as represented in the Sikh scripture and its cultural context.
- Aesthetics of Sikhi – literature, art and music
- Political dimensions of Sikh scripture and its impact on the evolution of Sikhs as a Panth or community
The website on the course details mentions that the course “examines the Sikh scripture from a doctrinal and historical perspective by providing an overview of Sikh teachings as well as the historical context within which the scripture evolved and became canonized. It also examines the musical and aesthetic dimensions of the Sikh scripture, as well as ways in which the voluminous text has provided Sikhs with a social, ethical, spiritual and political message to help them respond to and shape the world around them.”
Harpreet Singh of South Asian Studies at the Harvard University and Ravinder Singh and Damanpreet Singh as Teaching Assistants, will be three guides and instructors running the course. The course will be in association with the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences.