Does Durkheim Enhance Our Understanding of Law and Religion?

In this lecture, given at the conference on “The Sacred and the Law. The Durkheimian Legacy” at the Kate Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture”, Bonn, 27-28. October 2015, I view Durkheim in two ways: in his intellectual context and as a scientist whose claims can be tested independently of that context. Durkheim’s claims on religion demonstrate his Western culturality, which constrains and qualifies those claims and limits their relevance today. His universal claims about religion actually depend on and presuppose core Christian theological themes to make them intelligible and raise questions that are possible only within a cultural context like the Western culture which is constituted by a religion: Christianity. This is made much more obvious when placing Durkheim’s claims against the theory of religion developed by S. N. Balagangadhara, whose work shows how the claim of religion as a universal derives from Christian theology, why religions are what the Semitic religions are, and why Asia as a culture has no religion. S. N. Balagangadhara‘s theory solves problems that Durkheim’s work either does not address itself to or cannot explain and generates important new questions for law and religion studies. The paper based on this talk was published in the book, The Sacred and the Law: The Durkheimian Legacyedited by Werner Gephart and Daniel Witte.

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Bharat Ek Chetna: A film

The film Bharat ek Chetna has been produced and directed by Dr Manish Pandit. It discusses the retrograde influence of leftist domination on Indian academia. The film begins with the 2016 protests at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi in support of jihadis who had tried to destroy India’s political establishment in a terrorist attack on the Indian parliament. Through a series of interviews and archive footage, it goes on to explain the degradation of student politics and academic culture as a function of the leftist domination of India’s universities.

Posted in academic freedom, Anirban Ganguly, Gautam Sen, intellectuals, Jawaharlal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jay Jina, Madhu Kishwar, Makarand Paranjape, Manish Pandit, Uncategorized, Yvette Rosser | Leave a comment

Seminar: Designed to Fail? The Standard Story of Caste System and its Impact on Law

The seminar by Dr. Prakash Shah, ‘Designed to Fail? The Standard Story of Caste System and its Impact on Law’, is now available online. The seminar, given at Bengaluru, Karnataka on 20 February 2018, is introduced by Mathighatta S Chaitra, Director of the Aarohi Research foundation. He explains how India cannot have a caste system even though it is a feature of the standard story about India today. Dr. Shah shows how that standard story continues to affect law-making initiatives in India, the United Nations, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. The seminar places in a wider context the current controversy about the caste law in the United Kingdom. The seminar can be seen here.

Posted in Arohi Research Foundation, BJP, Brahmanism, Britain, caste, caste discrimination, caste system, Christianity, colonial conciousness, conversion, dalits, descent discrimination, discrimination law, Equality Act 2010, Equality and Human Rights Commission, India, Indian law, Jakob de Roover, Mathighatta S Chaitra, Orientalism, S.N. Balagangadhara, United Nations | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bhima-Koregaon Violence: Hatred Being Created Against Brahmins Using History

In this interview for News18 Prakash Shah reflects on what the controversy and violence around the Bhima-Koregaon incidents say about caste conflict in contemporary India, and its ramifications.

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Feminism as Retrogressive Identity Politics

In this article, Prakash Shah argues that Western feminism has become a part of broader identity politics that pits various groups in society against one another without resolution of their relations and that it is a sign of the decline of Western culture. The full text of the article can be seen here.

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The background to and consequences of the British law on caste discrimination

This talk by Dr. Prakash Shah of Queen Mary, University of London, was given at the roundtable on ‘Deconstructing Caste’ organised by Dr. Jagbir Jhutti-Johal, University of Birmingham, 14 July 2017. The video of the talk can be viewed here.

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Does Channel 4’s Documentary Provide the Truth about Muslim Marriage?

Channel 4’s documentary, The Truth About Muslim Marriage, presented by Dr. Myriam François-Cerrah of the School of Oriental and African Studies, rests on doubtful claims. The documentary, first shown on 21 November 2017, portrays the phenomenon of unregistered marriage among Muslims as a problem of much greater magnitude than it is. In addition to this, it argues for legal change on a rather weak foundation. A closer look at the claims put forth in this documentary helps to reassess whether they are well founded and, indeed, whether other agendas are at play. See this link for the full article by Prakash Shah.

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