Welcome to the
Foundations and Approach
course support page!
“The Divine Mother’s magic is ancient as life itself. She existed before gods and mortals and She will exist even after the great dissolution. Mother is pure energy in subtle form, but in times of need or just out of a desire to play, She manifests.”
~ Elizabeth Usha Harding
A required course for the Certificate in Hindu Studies and Diploma in Applied Theology programs.
In this course we explore the history, ritual standards, philosophical framework, and theological approach of Kali Mandir and the Ramakrishna Seminary, focusing on our unique combination of a committed spiritual focus and a radical religious pluralism.
The course is divided into sections called modules. The course runs for eight weeks, with one module per week, with new materials being made available each week. Materials for this course will be a combination of original and curated content. Original content consists of lectures, live webinars, and writings from the instructor, and curated content consists of PDFs of articles, essays and selections from books and journals, readings from textbooks, and links to online videos and articles.
By participating in any program or course given by Ramakrishna Seminary, students consent to our Terms and Conditions Agreement.
Due to the generosity of our supporters, this course (normally $500) is being offered tuition free to our founding students, as we begin this auspicious service. While the course is offered free of charge, please consider making a donation to support the seminary if you are able.
Rev. Swami Dr. Bhajanananda Saraswati
Kali, the Black Goddess of Dakshineswar
Elizabeth U. Harding, Nicolas-Hays, York Beach 1993
This course is worth 8 Seminary Credits, and can be taken for either Credit or No Credit.
No Credit Option
Students not taking the course to earn Seminary Credits are not required to turn in written assignments or a final paper, but are expected to participate in online lectures and discussions and keep up with assigned readings and other materials.
Attendance and Class Participation: Students, who are taking this course for Seminary credit, are expected to attend weekly online lectures and discussions. If students must miss a live lecture, they are expected to watch the recording of the session and to participate in the discussion forum.
Class assignments: Each module includes assigned reading and/or engagement with other curated material such as articles, videos, audio files, PDFs, etc. These assignments and their supporting material will be available on these Course Support Pages. Short writing assignments that may be assigned should be emailed to the instructor as Word files.
Final paper: At approximately the halfway point of the course several topics will be suggested for students to choose from for their writing project. The final paper should be six to twelve pages in length and be handed in or emailed to the instructor as a Word file within a week after the final day of the course.
Evaluation of Student Performance
Attendance and class participation 40%
Class assignments 40%
Final paper 20%
90% - 100% A (Credit)
80% -89% B (Credit)
70% - 69% C (Credit)
Under 70% No Credit
Accessing Course Modules
Click on the module links below to access online meetings, supportive materials, and assignments.
(Access restricted to registered students)
MODULE 1: Founding and History of Kali Mandir
MODULE 2: The Dakshinewar Kali Temple
MODULE 3: Our Holy Trio - Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi & Vivekananda
MODULE 4: Bhakti and the Mother-Child Relationship
MODULE 5: Traditions and Standards
MODULE 6: Lineages and Influences
MODULE 7: Ritual and the Language of Devotion
MODULE 8: Tradition Beyond Cult