In Your Comparative Religions Course - Teach Hinduism Last.
Why? First off, we know a heck of lot more about Judaism, Christianity and Islam and chances are so do our students. Always teach from the greater known to the lesser known.
Second off, if comparative religions is indeed an endeavor in which we compare apples to oranges, Hindu religion is a prickly pineapple.
But really, good pedagogy says you should arm your students with as much content and as many critical tools as possible before dropping them into the thicket to strive with the interpretation and understanding of the complex of Hindu religions.
What reminded us of this pedagogical law that we observe?
The Times' review today of 'The Hindus: An Alternative History' by WENDY DONIGER - reviewed by PANKAJ MISHRA: "Wendy Doniger tries to remedy the enduring impression of a 'unified Hinduism' created in large part by the first British scholars of India."
Alas, the review is positive but not glowing.
Also of interest are two other reviews of religion books in the Times today.
One book reviewed today deals an alleged revival of religion in the world - but all it seems to discuss is a change of style in religious organization.
The other review deals with a book that chronicles a man's waning interest in religion. Ho-hum.God is enjoying an international comeback with the help of a model made in America, argue two editors at The Economist.