#21—The Bhagavad Gita, with Richard H. Davis [MIPodcast]

  • This episode delves into the most famous Hindu book of scripture. The Bhagavad Gita relates a conversation between god and human about war and violence, duty and obligation. Millions have looked to the Gita to gain insight into the struggle for self-mastery that we all must wage. Richard H. Davis tells the story from its beginnings in ancient India, through medieval interpretations, up to its Renaissance in the west during the early twentieth century, to its place in the hearts and minds of Hindus today.

    Special Episodes: “Lives of Great Religious Books”

    This series of MIPodcast episodes features interviews with authors of volumes in Princeton University Press’s impressive “Lives of Great Religious Books” series. Leading experts examine the origins of books like the Book of Mormon, Genesis, or Augustine’s Confessions. They trace shifts in the reception, influence, and interpretation of these landmark texts. As the Maxwell Institute’s mission statement suggests, we perform scholarly study of religious texts and traditions in order to deepen understanding and nurture discipleship among Latter-day Saints and to promote mutual respect and goodwill among people of all faiths. By looking at other religious texts from a variety of perspectives—worthwhile in their own right—we come to understand other faiths better, as well as our own.

    About Richard H. Davis

    Richard H. Davis is professor of religion and director of the Asian Studies Program at Bard College in New York. He wrote The Bhagavad Gita: A Biography (2015) for Princeton University Press’s “Lives of Great Religious Books” series. His other books include Lives of Indian Images and Ritual in an Oscillating Universe: Worshiping Siva in Medieval India.