RELG 051. Asian Religions in the Americas

Taking a hemispheric approach, this course will examine the histories, communities, and religious practices of Asians in South, Central, and North America and the Caribbean. We will learn about the indentured labor trade that brought Indian and Chinese laborers to the Americas in the 19th-20th centuries, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the case of Bhagat Singh Thind, and Japanese internment camps during WWII, in addition to other examples of racism and resistance that Asians faced migrating across the Americas. Our focus will be on how Asians have sacralized the local landscape and maintained and/or altered their religious practices, as well as how Asians have penetrated the culture of the Americas, looking at topics like food, architecture (temples and religious institutions), music, and pop culture. As part of the emphasis on culture, we will also explore the impact of Asian religions on American culture from the early transcendentalists to the Rajneesh movement and more, exploring the ways in which Asians have transformed the cultures of the Americas as much as their communities have been transformed by their new homelands.
1 credit.
Eligible for ASIA
Fall 2021. Persaud.
Catalog chapter: Religion  
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