Reconceptualising India Studies
11 December 2012
Professor SN Balagangadhara
Listen to the podcast of Professor Balagangadhara's lecture (mp3 duration approx. 60 minutes)
This event was hosted by GLOCUL: Centre for Culture and Law, School of Law, Queen Mary, University of London.
Introduction by Dr Prakash Shah.
Professor SN Balagangadhara is Director of the Research Centre Vergelijkende Cutuurwetenschap (Comparative Science of Cultures) and the founder of the India Platform at Ghent University in Belgium. From the 1980s onwards, Balagangadhara has been developing the research programme Comparative Science of Cultures to study the cultural differences between Asia and Europe. Since 2005, he has initiated several conferences on Dharma and Ethics and, since 2008, on Rethinking Religion in India.
Professor Balagangadhara’s best known work, The Heathen in his Blindness: Asia, the West, and the Dynamic of Religion, continues to influence thinkers in a number of intellectual domains. He now presents a new work, Reconceptualising India Studies.
Reviewers’ comments on Reconceptualising India Studies:
“Balagangadhara’s work presents both a dare and an invitation to venture outside our comfort zones of accepted ideas about ‘religions’, politics, and culture. His sustained and profound immersion in the intellectual legacies and social worlds of India and Europe grounds a scholarship that is as rigorous as it is visionary…”
- Naomi Goldenberg, Professor, Department of Classics and Religious Studies, University of Ottawa.
“Eschewing the mutually exclusive stances of secular and religious apologetics, SN Balagangadhara provides a much needed critique of the conceptual framework that has trapped Indian intellectuals to date. Reconceptualising India Studies is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of India’s conceptual encounter with the West.”
- Arvind-Pal S Mandair, Associate Professor and SCSB Endowed Professor of Sikh Studies, University of Michigan.
“Balagangadhara is at the forefront of discussions about the complexity of cultural and civilizational identity in India and…'Indian culture' in a post-colonial era. His work challenges standard assumptions about Indian culture and provides essential food for thought in reflecting upon the role and place of India on a contemporary international stage. This is a must read for anyone interested in understanding Indian civilization…”
- Richard King, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Glasgow.