Jan 20, 2022
Rita D. Sherma's book Swami Vivekananda: His Life, Legacy, and Liberative Ethics (Lexington Books, 2021) re-assesses the life and legacy of Swami Vivekananda from the vantage point of socially-engaged religion in a time of global dislocations and inequities. Due to the complexity of Vivekananda as a historical figure on the cusp of a new era, few works offer a nuanced, academic examination of his liberative vision and legacy.
Aug 15, 2021
Lisa is joined by Dr. Rita Sherma, the founding Director & Associate Professor at GTU's Center for Dharma Studies and the Co-Chair of the Sustainability 360 Initiative to talk about Greening Spirituality an online learning opportunity from the Graduate Theological Union’s GTUx, Drs. Rita Sherma and Devin Zuber examine the connections between spirituality and the natural world, including special consideration of Native American and Dharma traditions in the development of American environmentalism.
In Greening Spirituality we will study the often unacknowledged ecological influences of Asian religions and Native American cultures on America’s literary, artistic, and architectural heritage, as well as the growing presence – in the United States – of Dharma traditions, and their influence on contemporary meditation methods as they have opened the door to ancient approaches interweaving the elemental potencies of wilderness (and wildness) into the fabric of contemplative practice.
We will reflect, together, on the critical importance of acknowledgement of other cultures and cosmological views that existed before us, and to which—at the very least—we owe a debt of gratitude.
The contemporary greening of spirituality has deep roots in American soil and the sanctification of the wonder and mystery of treasured national spaces, such as the red hills of Sedona, Yosemite, and Muir Woods, has begun to resemble an alternate form of civic religion—one that envisions and embraces a spirituality of place"
The course includes 4, modules:
Module 1: Roots: What is “spirituality”? What is “sacred” beyond the diversity of varied religions and rituals? How and why is it connected to the verdant natural world around us?
Module 2: Turtle Island: The Beat Poets and American Buddhist Ecocriticism
Module 3: Decolonizing the Spiritual
Module 4: Ecopraxis: Greening Spirituality on a Warming Planet
Oct 9, 2020.
What counts as contemplative practices in Hinduism? What can Hindu Studies offer Contemplative Studies as a discipline?Contemplative Studies in Hinduism: Meditation, Devotion, Prayer, and Worship (Routledge, 2020), edited by Rita D. Sherma and Purushottama Bilimoria, explores diverse spiritual and religious Hindu practices to grapple with meditative communion and contemplation, devotion, spiritual formation, prayer, ritual, and worship. Contemplative Studies in Hinduism covers a wide range of topics – classical Sāṃkhya and Patañjali Yoga, the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, the role of Sādhana in Advaita Vedānta, Śrīvidyā and the Śrīcakra, the body in Tantra, the semiotics and illocution of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sādhana, mantra in Mīmāṃsā, Vaiṣṇava liturgy - to articulate indigenous categories for grappling to Hindu contemplative traditions. In doing so it enriches the fields of both Contemplative Studies and Hindu Studies.
Feb 25, 2016
Dr. Rita Sherma, Director of the Center for Dharma Studies, s delivered the 25th Annual Reading of the Sacred Text on February 25, 2016. Her topic: The Technology of Transformation: Sacred Texts and the Divine Feminine. Founded in 2015, The Mira and Ajay Shingal Center for Dharma Studies helps scholars and students from the Hindu and Jain Dharmic heritage communities and other traditions understand Dharma in its multidimensional richness, and encourages cross-cultural and interreligious understanding.
Apr 26, 2015
This week, we bring together a multi-faith panel to answer questions about Christianity, Islam, Hindu, Judaism and Secular Humanism. The panel consists of Rita Sherma, John Figdor, Jihad Turk, Shawn Landres, Richard Mouw and John Ortberg as moderator.
Sept 30, 2015
Dr. Rita D. Sherma is Associate Professor of Dharma Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, and Director of GTU’s Hindu Studies Initiative. A distinguished scholar and prolific writer, her academic specialties include Hindu Theology and Ethics, Science and Religions, Women and Hindu Goddess Studies and Comparative Theology. We spoke of many topics around religion and academia, especially the treatment of Hinduism in the academy.