Over four days, our 20 plus speakers – philosophers and theologians, historians and writers, believers and non-believers – will consider what it means to be religious, and what role the voice of faith may legitimately have in the conversations of citizens in a multicultural, democratic state and the community of nations.
On Sunday, two keynote lectures from distinguished international guests each consider challenges posed by – and to – faith in the building of modern communities. Their lectures will be followed by panel discussions with local and international guests.
First, ground-breaking social historian Dipesh Chakrabarty will explore the voice of faith in national identity, speaking from the perspective of India. Chakrabarty’s book Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference investigates how and in what sense European ideas labelled ‘universal’ are in fact drawn from very specific intellectual traditions. He is one of the founders of subaltern studies, a field that draws on the idea that peasants may play a positive role in effecting social change in ex-colonial countries.
In a panel discussion following Chakrabarty’s address, the conversation will open up to include Sundhya Pahuja, a professor from Melbourne Law School (concerned with the relationship between international law and institutions and the question of global inequality), writer and poet Barry Hill. Justice Susan Crennan, a former Commonwealth Commissioner for Human Rights, will be participating chair.
For the full text of this lecture plus transcripts and recordings of the series, visit our Faith and Culture archive.
Dipesh Chakrabarty is a social historian whose research has transformed understanding of nationalist and postcolonial historiographies, particularly in the context of modern South Asia.
Barry Hill is a much published historian and poet who was short-listed for the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature. Possibly best known for Broken Song, the multi-award-winning biography of TGH Strehlow, the Lutheran linguist from Central Australia. His work in progress is Peacemonger, ‘a travel essay’ about the history of bombing and Rabindranath Tagore’s prophetic travels in Japan. He calls himself a Buddhist.
Sundhya Pahuja is a professor in the Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne and the director of the Law and Development Research Programme at the Institute for International Law and the Humanities.
Justice Susan Crennan was appointed to the High Court of Australia in November 2005. She had then served for almost two years as a judge on the Federal Court. Justice Crennan has degrees in arts and law and a postgraduate diploma in history. She is an influential supporter of the humanities.