Anthropologies of Buddhism and Hinduism
David Gellner (University of Oxford)
Quincentenary Building, Wolfson Hall A
Start time:
21 June, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Do traditions of scholarship continue to determine how Buddhism and Hinduism are studied and represented? Are the anthropology of Buddhism and the anthropology of Hinduism coherent sub-fields? Is the category 'Asian religions' a viable sub-division of 'natural religion' (opposed to the 'Abrahamic')?

Long abstract:

Recent anthropological discussions have posited a new sub-field, the anthropology of Christianity, to go alongside supposedly flourishing sub-fields of the anthropology of Buddhism and Islam. This panel proposes to bring together papers that address, on the basis of new ethnographic material, as well as new analyses of the existing anthropological corpus, (a) whether there is, or should be, an anthropology of Hinduism, (b) whether the anthropology of Buddhism continues to be a coherent sub-field, and/or (c) whether there is any overlap or mutual influence between traditions of scholarship on these two (and other) Asian religions. Papers may also consider whether there are particular modernist, secularist, or Abrahamic presuppositions that continue to structure the ways in which Asian religions are studied and represented.