[2016] Religion and Nationalism Workshop 2

Beyond Nationalism? Political Modernities and Religion in Asia

The centenary commemorations of the First World War serve as a stark reminder of the perils of nationalism which have as yet remained unheeded throughout Asia. In a lecture given in Japan as the war unfolded, the Bengali poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore criticized the nation-state and offered a vision of a society independent of it. This panel seeks to pose the question of what has happened to that vision with special reference to Asia.

It will, furthermore, examine the relationship between religion, modernity and nationalism by critically interrogating the secular foundations of modern politics. Closely related to the attempts to reconsider the political principle of secularism is an increased awareness about “multiple histories of secularism” (Nader Hashemi)—the recognition of multiple paths of political modernity and secularism. As a result, the need to explore differences and commonalities in these multiple political modernities is sharply felt. Such exploration is a necessary precondition to reconsider and theorize the relationship between religion and politics.

This workshop will be held as Beyond Nationalism Panel, ISA Asia-Pacific Conference, Hong Kong 25-27 2016.