Gurus and Governors

Gurus and Governors

This FIG combines the study of key texts from Asian religious traditions together with the engaging “Reacting to the Past” role-playing learning that focuses on a pair of concrete historical, political, and social contexts in which Indian religious traditions play pivotal parts. For more information on how the Reacting to the Past class works, see the video below.

"I was surprised how easy it was to become invested in the role I played and the history I was learning about. I've never had a class more full of passion, laughter, and creativity - it’s unlike any other classroom experience I'll have, and I don’t think there’s a better way to truly learn about history.”

- UO Student Avery Miller on her experience within her Reacting to the Past course.


Students explore the intersection of topics by taking the following course package*:

*Courses in the FIG package may be subject to change

REL 199 College Connections - FIG Seminar, 1-credit

This College Connections seminar is scheduled as remote, but will likely have in-person components in fall.

REL 101 World Religions: Asian Traditions - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 4-credits

This course examines key concepts and practices from such Asian religions as Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. Since there is not time to provide a comprehensive survey of all religions in Asia, this course provides a balance of some broad coverage with in-depth examination of primary scriptures, scholarly analysis, and contemporary issues. The focus of our examination will be on the philosophical understanding of religious ideas supported by a critical examination of historical context. We will study key ideas within the critical context of various cultural and historical issues such as gender, class, and ritual practices. As part of this study, we will also explore the contemporary relevance of historically derived ideas and practices.

HIST 211 Reacting to the Past - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 4-credits

Reacting to the Past (RTTP) is an award-winning series of immersive role-playing games that actively engage students in their own learning. Students assume the roles of historical characters and practice critical thinking, primary source analysis, and argument. Students in this course will play three RTTP games over the ten-week term. The first focuses around the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, 1893, that took place during the “Columbian Exposition” World Fair of that year. The second focuses on controversies surrounding the institution of sati (ritual widow suicide through burning herself on her husband’s funeral pyre) around the year 1829 in Calcutta, India. The third focuses on the lead-up to the withdrawal of the British from South Asia as World War II draws to a close.  .