• Length:
    4 Weeks
  • Effort:
    5–10 hours per week
  • Price:

    FREE
    Add a Verified Certificate for $49 USD

  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Introductory
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English

Associated Programs:

About this course

Skip About this course
Sikhi, commonly known as Sikhism, is a monotheistic religious tradition that was founded by Guru Nanak in late fifteenth-century Panjab in South Asia. Today, Sikhi’s approximately twenty-five to thirty million adherents can be found all over the globe, making it one of the six major religions of the world. Sikhi encompasses a number of religious, social, economic and political institutions, most of which were established and nurtured by Guru Nanak and his nine successors, known as Sikh Gurus. 

For over five hundred years, Sikhs in the Panjab and all over the world have engaged with their scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, through the devotional practices of exegesis, singing, recitation, memorization and calligraphy. 

This course examines the Sikh scripture from a doctrinal and historical perspective by providing an overview of Sikh teachings as well as the historical context within which the scripture evolved and became canonized. It also examines the musical and aesthetic dimensions of the Sikh scripture, as well as ways in which the voluminous text has provided Sikhs with a social, ethical, spiritual and political message to help them respond to and shape the world around them.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Exploration of a foundational Sikh text, the Japji, which was composed by Guru Nanak and is recited by Sikhs as part of their morning prayers
  • The place of Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture, in Sikh life
  • Interpretative skills to engage in a nuanced reading of Guru Granth Sahib
  • Gurmat Sangit, the Sikh musical tradition, as represented in the Sikh scripture and its cultural context
  • The aesthetics of Sikhi, including literature, art, and music
  • The political dimensions of Sikh scripture and its impact on the evolution of Sikhs as a Panth or community

Meet your instructors

Harpreet Singh
Scholar of Sikhism and South Asian Religions Traditions
Harvard University
Ravinder Singh
Teaching Assistant
Harvard University
Damanpreet Singh
Teaching Assistant
Harvard University

Pursue a Verified Certificate to highlight the knowledge and skills you gain $49.00

View a PDF of a sample edX certificate
  • Official and Verified

    Receive an instructor-signed certificate with the institution's logo to verify your achievement and increase your job prospects

  • Easily Shareable

    Add the certificate to your CV or resume, or post it directly on LinkedIn

  • Proven Motivator

    Give yourself an additional incentive to complete the course

  • Support our Mission

    EdX, a non-profit, relies on verified certificates to help fund free education for everyone globally

Frequently asked questions

Honor code statement
HarvardX requires individuals who enroll in its courses on edX to abide by the terms of the edX honor code. HarvardX will take appropriate corrective action in response to violations of the edX honor code, which may include dismissal from the HarvardX course; revocation of any certificates received for the HarvardX course; or other remedies as circumstances warrant. No refunds will be issued in the case of corrective action for such violations. Enrollees who are taking HarvardX courses as part of another program will also be governed by the academic policies of those programs.

Research statement
By registering as an online learner in our open online courses, you are also participating in research intended to enhance HarvardX's instructional offerings as well as the quality of learning and related sciences worldwide. In the interest of research, you may be exposed to some variations in the course materials. HarvardX does not use learner data for any purpose beyond the University's stated missions of education and research. For purposes of research, we may share information we collect from online learning activities, including Personally Identifiable Information, with researchers beyond Harvard. However, your Personally Identifiable Information will only be shared as permitted by applicable law, will be limited to what is necessary to perform the research, and will be subject to an agreement to protect the data. We may also share with the public or third parties aggregated information that does not personally identify you. Similarly, any research findings will be reported at the aggregate level and will not expose your personal identity.

Please read the edX Privacy Policy for more information regarding the processing, transmission, and use of data collected through the edX platform.

Nondiscrimination/anti-harassment statement
Harvard University and HarvardX are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the community is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination or harassment in our program. All members of the HarvardX community are expected to abide by Harvard policies on nondiscrimination, including sexual harassment, and the edX Terms of Service. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact [email protected] and/or report your experience through the edX contact form.