RE-RELEASE - Introduction to Hindu Mythology

Caleb Simmons
Originally Offered: Spring 2021 (10 Three-Hour Classes)
Available for a Limited Time
Watch the video to learn more about this course

RE-RELEASE - Introduction to Hindu Mythology

Summer 2023
In Session
In Session
Originally Offered: Spring 2021
(10 Three-Hour Classes)
Available for a Limited Time





Images of Hinduism and Hindu deities have been integrated into our collective imagination as part of American popular culture. From the cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Axis: Bold as Love, photos of the Beatles seated alongside Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the goddess on the cover of the first issue of Gloria Steinem’s Ms. magazine, or even Ganesha on the counter of Kwik-e Mart on The Simpsons, most Americans have a vague idea about the appearance of Hindu gods and goddesses. In this course we will push beyond the layer of popular allusions to Hindu deities to take a deeper look into the mythology that undergirds the tradition. We will explore traditional Hindu narratives found in the Vedas, epics, and later encyclopedic mythological (puranic) literature. Along the way we will also look more closely at the religious beliefs and practices that shape and are shaped by these myths.

Ted and Shirley Taubeneck Superior Teaching Award
— 2021 Award-Winning Course —

The teaching excellence displayed in this course earned this professor the highest honor that the Humanities Seminars Program has to bestow: the Ted and Shirley Taubeneck Superior Teaching Award. This award is given annually by the Humanities Seminars Program. It is based entirely on student evaluations and seeks to honor the pedagogical skill, depth of expertise, and commitment to students demonstrated by the most outstanding faculty who teach for the Humanities Seminars Program. 

We are delighted to re-release this award-winning course 
during the Summer 2023 season. 

  • This course is offered as a recording. No live class sessions or meetings are scheduled with the professor or fellow students. Enrolled students will have the opportunity to connect with fellow students via an online discussion board if desired; however, participation is entirely voluntary.
  • Access - enrolled students have complete access to course materials via the HSP Learning Portal online from the day of their registration until August 31, 2023. On September 1, 2023, the class video recordings will be removed; however, students will retain access to all other course materials online.   
  • Price - has been reduced from our regular course tuition rates. Enrollment provides access to all course materials, including the original syllabus, reading materials, and video recordings of all class sessions for a limited time.
  • 2021 Superior Teaching Award Course Package - four courses were awarded in 2021 and all four are being re-released for a limited time during the Summer 2023 season. Students who desire to purchase the complete set of four award-winning courses will receive an additional $50 registration discount (applied automatically during registration). This represents a $330 total discount or almost 60% in savings compared to our regular tuition price for these courses.  

Registration Will Open Online:
Monday, April 10, 2023, at 8 AM (AZ Time)

Required Reading: 

  • Dimmett and Van Buitenen. 2012. Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in Sanskrit Puranas. University of Temple Press. Any edition. ISBN-13: 978-0877221227
  • Other readings will be provided via download for enrolled students.

Meet Your Professor

Associate Professor
Department of Religious Studies and Classics

CALEB SIMMONS is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Classics. He has published on religion in South Asia, especially Hinduism: Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship and Religion in India, The Navarātri Festival in South Asia, and Nine Nights of the Goddess (coeditor and contributor). He is currently working on ecological issues and sacred geography in India, South Asian diaspora communities, and material and popular cultures stemming from globalization.



This course will be offered ONLINE ONLY
Classes will be live streamed during the time and dates specified in the course details section above. Instructions about how to access the course online will be sent to all enrolled students before the course begins.

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