Conversation on "New Industries of Spirituality and Violence"
Venue: CMI, Post meeting room, 1st florr, Fantoftvegen 38
With Faisal Devji and Kathinka Frøystad.
Chaired by: Kari Telle, Senior Researcher CMI.
Over the past decade, the study of so-called religious violence has evolved into a veritable cottage industry. Taking a critical view of the ‘religious violence industry', this CMI seminar brings together two scholars whose historical and ethnographically informed research engages directly with the issues of ‘religion' and ‘violence.'
Faisal Devji is an acclaimed theorist of militant Islam whose broader concerns are with ethics and violence in a globalized world. Devji is associate professor of history at The New School for Social Research in New York and author of Landscapes of the Jihad: Militancy, Morality, Modernity (2005). The book explores the ethical underpinnings of al-Qaeda's global jihad and argues that the chief impact of jihadism will prove to be not its acts of violence but the challenge it has posed to traditional structures of Muslim authority. More recently Devji has explored the links between modern Islamic militants and Mahatma Gandhi's doctrine of pacifism and non-violence.
Kathinka Frøystad is an anthropologist based at the University of Bergen whose work has examined the resurgence of Hindu nationalism in the early 1990s and the resulting turbulence in Hindu-Muslim relations. In Blended Boundaries: Caste, Class and Shifting Faces of 'Hinduness' in a North Indian City (2005) she examines how sympathizers of Hindu nationalism related to the political movement over time and explains their alteration between different kinds of 'significant Others', notably Muslims and Dalits.
Through conversation with these two scholars the seminar aims to interrogate the meaning of violence and religion and the relationships that lie between them. As a conversation, discussion will take place in an informal setting where all attending are encouraged to interact, discuss and question the perspectives of those leading the seminar.
The seminar will be followed by lunch in the cafeteria.