Caring for the Soul and Educating Character Through Dialogue in a Hindu Core Text: Krishna Educating Arjuna’s Character and Hindu Notions of the Soul and Psychic Conflict in Arjuna’s Inner Battle in the Bhagavadgītā

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At the centre of this paper is the most famous Hindu core text since the nineteenth century, the Bhagavadgītā, Song of the Lord, that is to say, Lord Krishna. Four reasons for this choice. First of all, Socrates’ suggestion that philosophy is not about nature but about care for the soul (epimeleia tēs psychēs) applies strikingly to Krishna caring for the soul of Arjuna by reminding him of an abundance of Hindu philosophy. Secondly, if the overall topic is about “Caring for Souls: Can Core Texts Educate Character?”, this classical Hindu core text itself addresses the issue what is meant by “soul” and by “educating character” from a Hindu perspective. Thirdly, Socrates’ and Plato’s suggestion that caring for the soul is not brought about by texts but by dialogue with friends, is illustrated by this core text consisting of a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna. Fourthly, the Bhagavadgītā raises the issue what happens to the educational function of a religious text when it becomes a literary text in a world literature course.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019
Event3rd European Liberal Arts and Core Texts Education conference: Learning about character in universities using core texts - University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
Duration: 17 Oct 201919 Oct 2019


Conference3rd European Liberal Arts and Core Texts Education conference


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