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Hindus Applaud Depauw University for New Course

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Hindus have applauded prestigious DePauw University in Indiana (USA) for approving a new 300-level class on Modern Hinduism in its Religious Studies Department.

Founded in 1837 by the Methodist church, DePauw already offers courses titled "Religions of India" and "Hinduism". Its students come from 41 countries and 42 states of USA. It is a private, selective, coeducational, and residential university where selection rate is about 17 percent and annual charges per student $42,070.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, described DePauw’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 comprises 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 of other major American 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, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, Brown universities and University of Pennsylvania to further enrich their Hinduism resources.

According to the latest edition of the university newspaper “The DePauw”, the students in this course will examine "the rise of Hindu modernity from the colonial period to the present day." The main objective is to "encourage an understanding of the embedded nature of modern Hinduism within the historical matrices of culture, society, politics and economics in South Asia."

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Girls outnumber boys by about 14 percent in DePauw, which is spread over 695 acres in Greencastle and offers 45 majors and “teaches its students values and habits of mind”. It boasts of alumni like former US Vice President Dan Quayle, Nobel Prize winner Ferid Murad, many Chief Executive Officers of major companies, prominent authors, etc. President is Brian W. Casey; Board of Trustees chair is R. David Hoover; and chair of Religious Studies Department is Professor Paul Watt.


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