Friends, colleagues, please join us for the September instalment of our Deakin Anthropology Seminar Series 2017, presented by our very own Dr Rohan Bastin (Division of Anthropology, Deakin University). The seminar will be followed by drinks at The Edge, 6/8 Eastern Beach Rd, Geelong.
(Please note: our previously-scheduled seminar by Victoria Stead has been cancelled due to unforseen circumstances. The date and time remain unchanged, however.)
Date: Thursday 7 September
Location: Deakin Waterfront AD1.122
(Also, by videoconference, at Deakin Burwood C2.05, Deakin Downtown, and VMP 39384)
“The State will have no religion”: Secular Crises, Conversion and Reconversion in India and Sri Lanka.
Exploring the current controversies in India surrounding freedom of choice and religious conversion, specifically the so-called reconversion or ‘homecoming’ (gharwapsi) campaign being promoted by Hindutva groups, the paper explores a range of debates about secularism and the contemporary Indian state. Through a comparison with similar and closely articulated debates concerning Buddhism, conversion and state religion in Sri Lanka, the paper argues for a revision of the doctrine of secularism as well as the doctrine of postsecularism in both countries through a critique of the popular postcolonial assertion that secularism is a modern concept foreign to the region.
Rohan Bastin is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Deakin University. He leads a project that proposes comparative research on socio-religious reform movements in Sri Lanka, exploring four separate yet related research foci in the post-war context involving each of the major world religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam). It explores questions of human equality and social cohesion in the setting of post-conflict national reconstruction.