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Religious Pluralism in South Asia and Europe

Helmut Reifeld (Editor) Jamal Malik (Editor)
Synopsis Until the early-1970s, there was a significant lack of interest in religion among scientists of all disciplines. Scholars, including those engaged in the study of religion, were convinced that religion would disappear from history as well as the public sphere to become a purely private matter. Against all predictions, however, religion has returned very much to the public domain. Alarmingly though, the relationship between different religions in a shared social space is characterized by antagonism rather than by creative co-existence, reducing the complex network of different religious attitudes to closed systems such as Huntington's clash of civilizations. This collection of twelve essays by some of the most eminent scholars in the field brings an extraordinary range of voices and experiences to the dialogue on religious pluralism. The discussion gains immensely from being presented in a comparative perspective. Mark Haberlein discusses the historical roots of plurality in Europe; T.N. Madan's paper focuses on the historical and organizational aspects of the Indic religions vis-a-vis Islam and Christianity. In a comparative study of Christianity and Islam in the global context, Christian W. Troll argues that religions have an important role in achieving justice and harmony between nations, economic blocks, and cultural groupings. Claire de Galembert's paper deals with the discrepancy between the common and ideologically dominant representation which imagines that to only political identity is relevant in the public domain, on the one hand, and actual practice (recall the 'headscarf controversy') of the French laicity on the other. Ashis Nandy discusses the issue of ethnic and religious violence through the complex experiences, interpretations, and insights of sensitive scholars and writers in the context of South Asia. This rich and challenging collection also includes other voices, all of which will interest scholars of sociology, religion and culture, as well as the general reader interested in the public debates on the possibility of harmonious co-existence between peoples of diverse religious faiths.
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About the author

Jamal Malik

Jamal Malik is Associate Professor at the Oriental Institute of the University of Bonn, Germany. He works on the Islamic scholarly tradition in South Asia.

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Bibliographic information

Title Religious Pluralism in South Asia and Europe
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195669754
length xii+317p., 23cm.
Subjects History