In the current world situation, we are witnessing, on the one hand, globalisation associated with a powerful world economic system. On the other hand, there is a return to and consolidation of local senses of identity associated with region, religion, ethnicity and culture. Hindu nationalism needs to be understood within this broader global context and the socio-cultural intensifications of local identities. Such intensification reacts against liberal or universal values. This lecture will describe the development of Hindu nationalism, its meaning and implications, and argue that the price paid for a single narrative associated with the nation state is at the cost of an older Hindu narrative of pluralism and inclusivism.
About the Speaker
Professor Gavin Flood, FBA is Visiting Professor at the Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies (SRP) Programme, RSIS. Professor Gavin is also Professor of Hindu Studies and Comparative Religion at Oxford University, Senior Research Fellow of Campion Hall, and Yap Kim Hao Visiting Professor of Comparative Religious Studies in Yale-NUS, Singapore.
Professor Gavin read Religious Studies and Social Anthropology at Lancaster University and taught at the universities of Wales (Lampeter) and Stirling before coming to Oxford in 2005. He was elected to membership of the British Academy in 2014. His research interests are in medieval Hindu texts (especially from the traditions of Shiva), comparative religion and phenomenology.
Two of his recent books are The Importance of Religion: Meaning and Action in Our Strange World (2013) and The Truth Within: A History of Inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism (2013). He has just completed Religion and the Philosophy of Life (2019) published by Oxford University Press and is currently working on an edition and translation of a Sanskrit text called the Netra Tantra. He is general series editor of the Oxford History of Hinduism.