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Jour Fixe: Global Religious History

Jan 16, 2014

The Cluster hosted its second Jour Fixe of the winter term on Thursday, January 16, at 4 pm in the Karl Jaspers Centre. Prof. Michael Bergunder (Heidelberg) spoke about "Transculturality and global religious history. A religious studies perspective".

The historiography of contemporary religions is increasingly shaped by concerns and approaches specific to global history. This is in part due to the contention—articulated classically in Edward Said's Orientalism (1978)— that the nineteenth- and twentieth-century colonialism globalized "western" knowledge and imposed it upon societies that were colonized or lived under the threat of colonization. Although Said did not focus on the role of the colonized, this became the primary concern of postcolonial studies, whose object is the ongoing re-signification of "western" knowledge in colonial and postcolonial societies. Moreover, because this whole process has been multidirectional, a global history of religion should be understood as consisting of "entangled histories," in which all the entities involved are also, at least in part, products of this entanglement. Thus, the talk by Prof. Bergunder explored new theoretical perspectives on the meaning of "western" knowledge that included a fresh look at the three key concepts, namely transculturality, comparison and translation.

Prof. Michael Bergunder is professor of History of Religions and Mission Studies at Heidelberg University and Principal Investigator of the Cluster "Asia and Europe". His talk will be chaired by Prof. Birgit Kellner, HCTS-professor of Buddhist Studies.

The Jour Fixe is a regular event of the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context" held two times during each semester. It is organised by the four research areas of the Cluster and their speakers Prof. Diamantis Panagiotopoulos (Area A), Prof. Christiane Brosius (Area B), Prof. Joachim Kurtz (Area C), and Prof. Monica Juneja (Area D).

Visit the Jour Fixe website for more information.


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