We cordially invite all students of the department of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures and of the department of Cultural and Religious History of South Asia to join their department bruch.
Accompanied by a buffet with coffee and snacks they´d like to start into the new semester.
Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures
Time: Monday, 16.4.2018, 10.30 a.m.
Venue: INF 330, Cafeteria
Cultural and Religious History of South Asia
Time: Tuesday, 17.4.2018, 10.00 a.m.
Venue: INF 330, Cafeteria
Cambridge University Press recently published "The Mortal God - Imagining the Sovereign in Colonial India" by Milinda Banerjee. The publication presents his dissertation written under the supervision of Prof. Gita Dharampal-Frick (Head of the Department of History at SAI). Milinda Banerjee teaches at the Department of History, Presidency University, Kolkata and is Research Fellow at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich.
Permanent link to this publication (bookmarkable):
Further information is available here.
The Mortal God is a study in intellectual history which uncovers how actors in colonial India imagined various figures of human, divine, and messianic rulers to battle over the nature and locus of sovereignty. It studies British and Indian political-intellectual elites as well as South Asian peasant activists, giving particular attention to Bengal, including the associated princely states of Cooch Behar and Tripura. Global intellectual history approaches are deployed to place India within wider trajectories of royal nationhood that unfolded across contemporaneous Europe and Asia. The book intervenes within theoretical debates about sovereignty and political theology, and offers novel arguments about decolonizing and subalternizing sovereignty.
After its integration into the series of life-cycle rituals (saṃskāra) in the first millennium BC, the Brahmanical initiation (upanayana) underwent continual revision and reinterpretation. Today it is performed during a ritual complex called vratabandha, in which it is conducted together with three other saṃskāras, the whole set being embedded in a preliminary and framing ritual. In his book Asketen auf Zeit: Das brahmanische Intitiationsritual der Bāhun und Chetrī im Kathmandu-Tal (URL), Christof Zotter employs a combination of textual studies and fieldwork to examine the principles by which a particular Vedic school (the White Yajurveda) and a concrete context (the vratabandha of Nepalese Bāhuns and Chetrīs) combines and adapts elements of different types of ritual (saṃskāra, pūjā, homa, etc.) in order to accommodate itself to changing times and circumstances.
The detailed formal analysis provides a key to interpreting the meaning of the whole complex of acts that constitute a vratabandha, in which the initiate temporarily becomes an ascetic in order to be initiated into his future householder role as a ritual practitioner.
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From March 22-24, Profs. Christiane Brosius (Professor for Visual and Media Antropology at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies) and Axel Michaels (Senior professor and former Head of the Department of Classical Indology at SAI) joined the German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier during his state visit to India as part of the official scientific delegation.
On the first day, Axel Michaels and Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited the Archeological Museum and the Buddhist place Sarnath in Varansi. Steinmeier also talked to students of the Benares Hindu University about religious diversity. On the same day, Christiane Brosius joined Elke Büdenbender for a private program.
On the second day, the delegation visited the Friday mosque Jama Masjid and Frank-Walter Steinmeier gave a talk at the University of Delhi and engaged in discussion with representatives of the civil society, sciences and economy.
The third day was dedicated to receptions and a meeting with the Indian president and the prime minister, but also to meetings with further highranking personalities from public life.