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Exeter-Habib Seminars on Islam after Colonialism

Professor Shankar Nair (Virginia): Pre-colonial Possibilities for the Post-colonial: Muslim-Hindu Interactions as a Source of Theory

Event details

Among recent calls for the decolonization of religious studies, one often encounters a sentiment of “learning from the religious Other” or of “taking the religious Other seriously.” Such rhetoric typically signals an intention to engage non-Europhone intellectual traditions as sources not only of data to be analyzed by the “modern Western” academy, but also, potentially, of "live" thought and theory to be incorporated into the discipline. Despite the frequency of such calls, however, little consensus or concrete direction has yet been achieved. With an eye to such disciplinary conversations, in this presentation, I examine one pre-colonial instance of Muslim-Hindu interactions -- namely, the 1597 Persian translation of the Sanskrit Laghu-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha -- aiming to reconstruct the Muslim and Hindu co-translators’ own conceptualizations of “religion”.

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