Ideas about the divine or transcendent can shape how we view the world, however, institutionalised religion has a well recorded history of subjugating women. Vichaar Manthan will examine how these ideas and institutions evolve and if they can contribute to a modern liberal society.
Does Religion Subjugate Women?
Throughout history, religion has often engendered patriarchal societies in almost every corner of the globe. Their central scriptures have been interpreted in ways that explicitly and implicitly grant men greater freedoms and social benefits. These interpretations have been maintained across time to the modern day, where we see vastly different levels of gender equality across the world’s civilisations. This is most stark in the Islamic world, but even in societies influenced by Christianity, debates about equality of the sexes are hotly contested. Does the continued prevalence of religion mean that such debates are unsolvable and that women must be relegated to an inferior status? Or is there an alternative? Can dharmic traditions and the application of dharma show the way for a more sustainable approach?
What is the future of the Church?
We can point to the Church as one of the principal institutions that has influenced our society and shaped how individuals make decisions in their daily lives for over a thousand years. But what is it exactly that we mean by the ‘Church’, both theologically and politically? We must question whether its influence has truly enabled society to flourish. As this influence seems to wane in the developed world and grow in developing nations, where does it go from here? What will the Church stand for in the future? We will explore what role the Church will play in re-shaping the global order and how it interacts with traditions such as Hindu dharma and Buddhism in an increasingly pluralistic world. Join us.
Is Indian Civilisation a ‘Myth’?
The notion of an Indian ‘civilisation’ has been invoked and critiqued by many. On one hand, there are those who point to an ancient Indian civilisation’s values and principles to reshape contemporary society. On the other, there are those who deny the existence of such a civilisation, regarding ‘India’ as a construct related to the modern nation-state that emerged in 1947, Others treat the idea of Indian ‘civilisation’ as a complex phenomenon, portraying it as an amalgam of the various cultural influences on Indian society over the past thousand years, from Hindu kings to Mughal rulers and most recently, the British. Which one of these visions best stands up to scrutiny? Is Indian civilisation simply a ‘myth’ or can it furnish us with ideas to create a more sustainable society? Join us.