Today, a virtual consensus has come into being among scholars that the dominant modern descriptions of Hinduism, Brahmanism, Vedism, Sikhism, Jainism, ... are the result of collaboration between Europeans and Indians. Scholars like Brian Pennington, Phillip Wagoner, Thomas Trautmann and others have characterised this collaboration as a kind of dialogue, a dialogue between people belonging to two different cultures possessing different conceptual frameworks. This dialogue, it is said, has resulted in descriptions that contain elements of both sides and are therefore neither entirely European nor entirely Indian.
In the third Rethinking Religion in India conference we want to take a closer look at this consensus, at its implications and examine whether and how it helps us in the study of religion in India.
The conference will work towards these ambitions in three formats:
- The Platform Sessions: Monologue or Dialogue?
In the course of three sessions three clearly formulated theses will be discussed among four experts. The speakers that are invited for this session are: Prof. Arvind Mandair, Prof. Brian Pennington, Prof. Nicholas Dirks and Prof. S.N. Balagangadhara.
- The Roundtable Sessions: The Indian Response
In these plenary sessions we will look at the Indian side of the dialogue: how have Indians responded to the European descriptions of their religion and culture?
- The Parallel Sessions: in the Parallel Paper Sessions scholars will present their research on one of the themes given below. In the "How to...?" Workshops there will be more room for participation from the public.
A call for papers for the Parallel Paper Sessions is open on the following themes:The colonial construction of Hinduism; The caste system and Indian religion; Secularism in Europe and India; Said and Orientalism: dead or alive?
European representations of India; What does the modernization of Indian traditions mean?; Islamic mysticism in European and Indian perspective.
We also invite submissions of proposals for “How to…?” Workshops.
For more information on all the sessions please visit our website: www.rethinkingreligion.org
Abstracts and proposals for workshops can be submitted online via our website (see call for papers).
A number of interviews, presentations and debates of the first two conferences, Rethinking Religion in India I & II, can be watched on www.youtube.com/cultuurwetenschap
Looking forward to welcoming you at our conference,
The Organising Committee
This conference is jointly organised by
the Research Centre Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap (Ghent University, Belgium), the Centre for the Study of Local Cultures (Kuvempu University, India), the India Platform UGent (Ghent University, Belgium),the Karnataka Academy of Social Sciences and Humanities (ĀSHA)and the Department of Religious Studies (University of Pardubice, Czech Republic).
Research Centre Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap
Ghent University, Belgium
Phone: +32 (0)9 264 93 71
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