More than Religious Tolerance: Self, Other, and Mysteries of Erotics


Tue, February 23, 2016, 5:00 - 7:00pm
Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley

Veena Das, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University

How does the language of the other seep into the imagination of one’s own mode of being-in-the-world? It is common to think of love and hate as mapped on the distinction between friend and enemy. However, drawing from the idea of the everyday as laced with fantasy, Das explores how the relations between Hindus and Muslims are imagined in mythology and in everyday life. Going beyond the minimalist ideas of tolerance, Das asks how the volatility of relations is tied to the mystery of the other and how traces of the erotic are carried in the mundane.

Veena Das is Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology at the Johns Hopkins University. Before joining Johns Hopkins University in 2000, she taught at the Delhi School of Economics for more than thirty years and also held a joint appointment at the New School for Social Research from 1997- 2000. Her most recent books are Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary (2007); Affliction: Health, Disease, Poverty (2015); and three co-edited volumes, The Ground Between: Anthropologists Engage Philosophy (2014), Living and Dying in the Contemporary World: A Compendium (2015), and Politics of the Urban Poor (forthcoming).

The Berkeley Lecture on Religious Tolerance is sponsored by the Endowed Fund for the Study of Religious Tolerance.