Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Two is One

blended course
when 28 August 2024 - 30 August 2024
language English
duration 1 week
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 150

One of the oldest philosophical questions is how to relate the One and the Many. Nondualism is a radical (dis)solution (of)to this question, since it argues that the One and the Many are neither reducible to one another, nor genuinely different from one another. The One is essentially Manifold, and the Many are essentially Unified. This seemingly abstract metaphysical view is rich in ontological, cognitive, linguistic, aesthetic, and socio-political implications. The goal of this summer school is to create an interdisciplinary platform to explore the metaphysical, aesthetical and sociological ramifications of non-dualism in a cross-cultural perspective.

As reference points for this investigation, we shall take two of the most representative non-dualistic philosophies emerged both in Western and Eastern thought. We shall bring into dialogue Baruch Spinoza’s philosophy, rooted in the early modern period in Europe, with the non-dual strands of the Śaiva Tantra tradition flourished in medieval Kashmir (including authors such as Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta), which then spread throughout India.

This summer school aims at creating a platform for the cross-cultural study of nondualism in both of these philosophical and religious traditions, by fostering interdisciplinary exchanges between established scholars, and engaging advanced students and early career researchers as well.

The event will be hybrid. We’ll host four weekly online reading groups before the in-person period (to be held for the first edition in Rotterdam). These online activities will enable all participants to gain an equal footing in the root texts of both sources. The in-person event will have the format of a conference, with keynote speakers and shorter presentations. This will then be followed by another online period for joint-presentations and round table discussions from the participants.

Course leader

Andrea Sangiacomo, Philosophy
Elena Mucciarelli, Religion Culture and Society – Institute of Indian Studies

Target group

This course is designed for MA/PhD/Postdoc students and researchers of religious Studies, Philosphy, Sociology, Anthropology. In particular, scholars interested in exploring the implications of nondualist ways of thinking in the unfolding of religious everday life as well as in ontological and linguistic theories. Experts of Spinoza and of Śaiva tradition interested in comparative study. Some prior familiarity with either Western or Indian thought is a plus, but it is not required that participants are already familiar with both.

Course aim

After this course you will be able to:

- Familiarize with main texts and topics in both the Śaiva tradition and Spinoza’s philosophy
- Reflect on how to bring into dialogue sources from different cultures
- Refine nondualist approaches in different areas of culture and philosophy
- Reflect on new potential avenues and implementations for nondualist views in today’s society

Credits info

3 EC
Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 84 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Preparation: 30 hours
Lectures: 20 hours
Online meetings: 24h
Presentation: 10 hours (including preparation)

Fee info

EUR 150: Master students from UG/EUR
EUR 250: for PhD students or researchers

Register for this course
on course website