Shankaracharya and Ramanuja, perhaps the two most famous philosophers of the Hindu tradition, were both sannyasis or renunciants. While the tradition of samnyasa or renunciation in South Asia is perhaps most famously exemplified by the so-called nastika or "heterodox" Buddhist and Jain traditions of monasticism, it is also fundamental to the "orthodox" scholastic traditions of Hindu philosophy. What exactly is samnyasa, and what does it mean to be an orthodox renunciant? This lecture will focus on the phenomenon of renunciation in South Asia, emphasizing particularly its importance for such brahminical philosophical movements as the Vedanta system.

Christopher Austin, Professor of Religious Studies and Classics at Dalhousie University, will present on The Brahmin Sannyasi and the Role of Renunciation in Orthodox Hindu Philosophy at the King's Theatrical Society Lecture Hall in the New Academic Building at the University of King's College from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Thursday November 20.