22nd Gonda Lecture 'A Space for Tolerance'

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18 November 2014 from 16:00 to 17:00 hrs
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Phyllis Granoff, a specialist in Indic religions, delivered the 22nd Gonda Lecture at the Academy in November 2014. Her lecture is now available as a booklet entitled ‘A Space for Tolerance: Responses to Other Religious Groups in Medieval Indian Literature’.

Indra worshipping Mahavira's embryo (Indian, Jain, About 1475). Gift of John Goelet to the Museum of Fine Arts, BostonIndra worshipping Mahavira's embryo (Indian, Jain, About 1475). Gift of John Goelet to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In her lecture, Phyllis Granoff examines medieval stories from India’s traditional religions – Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism – that describe encounters between different faiths. Stories of conflict prevail, but there are also stories that create a space for shared religious practice.

Behind the many strategies for dealing with other religions is a clear awareness that religious pluralism is a challenge at all levels of society. By openly acknowledging the need to come to terms with others who espouse different beliefs, these medieval Indian stories, Professor Granoff  argues, are surprisingly relevant today.

Phyllis Granoff is a Lex Hixon Professor of World Religions at Yale University (New Haven, USA).