Religion und Zivilgesellschaft. Großbritannien, Deutschland und Indien im 19. Jahrhundert

Religion und Zivilgesellschaft. Großbritannien, Deutschland und Indien im 19. Jahrhundert

Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin in Zusammenarbeit mit der Universität Erfurt Dr. Margrit Pernau / Prof. Dr. Alois Hahn / PD Dr. Dieter Gosewinkel
From - Until
10.05.2006 - 13.05.2006
Dr. Margrit Pernau

The conference aims at developing strategies to consider European and non-European history within a common framework and builds upon earlier attempts to create a greater sensitivity for concepts and the history of concepts, for questions of translations and translatability and for the representation of the other.
These questions will be engaged with through the analysis of the concept of civil society. Two problems structure the discussion: On the one hand, if we don’t want to reduce civil society to any form of interaction taking place within the sphere of social self-organization, a notion of civility is required. This civility, however, remains ambivalent. It is commonly conceived of as a universal model, as a normative claim imposed on the actors. At the same time it remains profoundly marked by the self-description of European men of the middle classes.
On the other hand, the concept of civil society builds upon the idea of a rational, free discussion in the public sphere, which would ideally be free not only from interventions by the state, but also of religion’s influences. Secularization, at least in form of a privatization of religion and the separation of religious and political ideas, is thus viewed as a pre-condition of civil society. However, once we include India in our historical analysis, these presuppositions have to be questioned anew. This in turns permits to gauge the blind spots the concentration on the self-perception of civil society’s protagonists has brought about.


Wednesday, 10. May:
18.00 Public opening lecture: The civilizational context of Indian Democracy (Shmuel Eisenstadt, Jerusalem)
19.30 Reception

Thursday, 11. May:
9.00 Introduction: Comparative perspectives on civil society. In search for a common framework (Margrit Pernau, Berlin)

1.Section: Concepts in trans-cultural research (Chair: Monica Juneja, Hannover/ Delhi)

10.00 Changes in the concept of religion in Germany and Great Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries (Andreas Gestrich, Trier)

11.00 Coffee-break

11.15 Hinduism between Dharma and religion in the 18th and 19th centuries (Sudhir Chandra, Aizwal)
12.15 Reconfiguring the relation between religion and world: Sufism and reformist Islam in South Asia since the 18th century (Carl Ernst, Chapel Hill)

13.15 Lunch

2. Section: Civil society, civility and the process of civilizing subjects (Chair: Cornelia Bohn, Luzern)

15.00 Religion and civilizing subjects in Europe (Weber, Foucault, Luhmann) (Alois Hahn, Trier)

16.00 Coffee break

16.15 Civil society in its Indian incarnation? Hindu Reform, Philanthropy and 'Public spirit' ca. 1880-1930 (Harald Fischer-Tiné, Berlin)
17.15 From scholastic learning to religious healing: unani medicine and civility in 19th century India (Seema Alavi, Delhi)

19.00 Classical Indian dance performance by Aranyani Bhargava

20.30 Dinner (Venue to be announced)

Friday, 12. May:
3. Section: Religion and the social capital of Civil society (Chair: Jamal Malik, Erfurt)

9.00 Protestant Philanthropy in 19th Century Germany: Civil Society and Religious Conflict (Bettina Hitzer, Bielefeld)
10.00 Philanthropy, Gender and Civil society in Great Britain (Dorice Williams Elliott, Kansas)

11.00 Coffee break

11.15 Religious Donations in India in the 19th century (Malavika Kasturi, Toronto)

12.30 Lunch

4. Section: The state and the religious actors of Civil society (Chair: Ulrike Freitag)

15.00 Citizenship and the relationship between state and religious communities in Germany and Great Britain (Dieter Gosewinkel, Berlin / Paris)
16.00 Colonial Administration of religions (Katherine Prior, London / Bristol)

20.00 Dinner (Venue to be announced)

Saturday, 13. May
9.00 Secular-religious conflicts and coalitions in Europe (Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, Leipzig)
10.00 Civil Society and Communalism. The Indian Experience (Salil Misra, Delhi)

11.00 Coffee break

11.15 Panel discussion
The role of religion in Civil Society: resource or obstacle? (Chair: Jürgen Kocka, Berlin)
Participants: José Casanova (Berlin / New York), Christian Troll S.J. (St. Georgen), Rajeev Bhargava (Delhi), Ashis Nandy (Berlin, Delhi), Francis Robinson (London))

13.00 Lunch

Contact (announcement)

Gebhard Glock
Phone: +49 30 25491-554
Fax: +49 30 25491-553

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