Teaching

1. UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

MA: ‘Religion, Society and Public Life’

Seminar on ‘Representing Religion: Who Speaks for Religious Communities?’ to a mixture of taught MA and PhD students.

MA: Contemporary Issues in Religion and Gender

Seminar on ‘‘Honour-Based’ Violence – Theoretical and Practical Issues’ to a mixture of taught MA and PhD students.

MA: ‘Religion and Society: Research Process and Methods’

Seminar on ‘Quantitative Methods in the study of religion’ to a mixture of taught MA and PhD students

Level 3: ‘Religion and Media’: Religion Online and Online Religion

Lecture on Religion Online and Online Religion. This lecture discusses the relationship between religion and the internet with a particular focus on my research into Sikhism online.

Level 2: The Sikh tradition

This module offers a critical study of the Sikh tradition in context focusing on its historical background and development, its encounter with colonialism and its emergence as a world religion. As almost a fifth of the global Sikh population now live outside India, this module will focus on Sikhs living both in India and in the diaspora examining what it means to be a member of a religious minority in Britain today. Issues explored will include attitudes to Sikh identity including the 5Ks, the development of the Sikh community in Britain and religious transmission among young British Sikhs. The impact of the storming of the Golden Temple in 1984 on British Sikhs will be examined as will the challenges facing the Sikh community in general and young British Sikhs in particular in a post 9/11 world. As well as focusing on the Sikh community, the module will allow students to explore the teachings of the Sikh Gurus to outline how rather than dwelling on theological and metaphysical issues, the Sikh Gurus focused on the way in which individuals construct ideas about themselves and of notions of reality.

Syllabus

 Introduction: Sikhism and its historical context
 Sikh Gurus: Guru Nanak and the 10 Gurus
 Sikh Scriptures: Guru Granth Sahib
 Sikh Identity: Turban, Khalsa and codes of conduct
 Sikh Institutions: Sikhism, Gurdwaras and authority
 Modern Sikhism: 1984, gender, caste and other faiths
 The Sikh Diaspora: Sikhism outside India
 The Future of Sikhism: The religious lives of young British Sikhs

Module Feedback from the 2014/15 students included:

“This module has been by far the best one I have done this year. Jas has been incredibly enthusiastic about the module which has meant we have all REALLY enjoyed it. The lectures and seminars have been very clear and have all connected. Jas has been the best lecturer and seminar tutor I have had, his interest and excitement for his topic has really rubbed off on us meaning the module has been extremely enjoyable! I would recommend this module to anyone.”

“Overall, this module has been an absolute pleasure to take. I have enjoyed every part of it and the module leader has been an inspirational and motivational person throughout the semester. I really would recommend this module/and other modules taught by this module leader, to anyone in first year/second year. Really great”

“What a BRILLIANT module! I have enjoyed every second of ‘The Sikh Tradition’ and I am so glad I chose it. Jas is a brilliant lecturer and seminar leader, provoking interesting debates and conversations amongst the group. We have had amazing opportunities through this module such as a Sikh music concert and getting to visit three Gurdwaras. This is the sort of module I would expect to have access to whilst at University, as it has really opened my eyes to a new tradition and had plenty to offer. I really hope I can work with Jas again in the future. A M A Z I N G.”

“This module was absolutely fantastic! Jas is brilliant, the lectures have plenty of content but are still well explained and understandable, the seminar topics were engaging, and the field trips were informative and fun. Would 100% recommend this to everyone. We’re so fortunate to get to study Sikhism at all, and the fact that Jas is teaching it only makes it better! He is extremely encouraging and enthusiastic which really helps the learning experience. Haven’t got a bad thing to say to be honest!

Level 1: ‘Religion in Modern Britain’: Indian Religions

I present five lectures for this module, on Indian Religions: Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. These lectures are delivered to 150+ students and again I received excellent feedback. I also present two seminars for this module, on ‘Fieldwork and Ethnography’. An observation report on the ‘Sikhism, Identity and the Body’ lecture stated that

“The lecturer was able to hold the attention of a large cohort of students, firstly by the evident security of their knowledge of the subject, secondly by making excellent use of a set of well prepared Powerpoint Slides, and thirdly by some strategies to refocus attention as the lecture proceeded.”

 

Level 1: ‘Introduction to the Study of Religion’

I am module leader on this course. This module introduces the Study of Religion/s as an academic field of studies. The module integrates the exploration of different approaches, theories, methods, concepts and issues in the study of religions with the reading of some classic texts in the study of religion/s. Throughout the module, religion is approached as something polymorphic (i.e. it comes in many shapes and sizes) and multi-dimensional (presenting many different faces), woven into local and global life and thought as well as embodied in religious institutions, texts, practices and images. The module does not aim to introduce specific religions as such but will use examples from a variety of religious traditions. Further details available here: https://leedsforlife.leeds.ac.uk/Broadening/Module/THEO1930

Level 1: ‘Key Texts in Theology and Religious Studies’ – Teachings of the Sikh Gurus

I designed and taught a five seminar course on the Japji and key concepts in Sikh thought. The course was assessed via a written examination. Key questions addressed in this module are:

  1. What is the nature of the Divine in Sikh Thought?
  2. Did the context within which Sikhi evolved influence the teachings of the Sikh Gurus?
  3. What is the issue with the human condition?
  4. What is the solution offered by the Sikh Gurus for this condition?
  5. How do the Gurus teach that this solution can be attained?

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2. LEEDS TRINITY UNIVERSITY

Level 2: ‘World Religions 1:Texts and Traditions’ – Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam

I designed and present 12 week module on Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam to students at Leeds Trinity University. Seminars covered Hindus in Britain, the Upanishads, Hindu religious thought, the development of Islam, Sufism, the formation of the Sikh tradition and the Guru Granth Sahib. Assessment is via 3 portfolio essays and a final 1500 word essay. Again received excellent feedback from the module tutor – “In their end of year summaries, the students reported how much they enjoyed your visit and that they would like to learn more about Sikhism.”

Level 3: ‘World Religions 2:Cultures and Complexities’ – Indian Religions

I designed and present a 12 week module on Indian Religions to students at Leeds Trinity University covering the evolution of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, the impact of Islam on Indian Religions, the evolution of the Sikh tradition, diversity within the Sikh tradition and the impact of colonialism on Indian Religions. Assessment is via 3 portfolio essays and a final 1500 word essay.

 

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3. YORK ST JOHN’S UNIVERSITY

Level 1: ‘The Sikh Tradition’

I designed and present a four hour seminar on the Guru Granth Sahib to students at York St John’s University covering history and content. Again received excellent feedback.

 

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4. HUDDERSFIELD UNIVERSITY

Level 2: Sikhi

I designed and present a 12 week course on ‘Sikhi’ including lectures about:

  1. Sikhism and its context
  2. Guru Nanak’s Life and Teachings
  3. Sikh Identity
  4. Guru Granth Sahib
  5. Sikh Institutions
  6. Sikh Diaspora

 

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