February 24, 2010

We include spiritual teaching in the term "education"

International Seminar on                Hindu Organizations in Education, Health and Development Work: 2, 3, 4 March 2010    
            We invite papers for a seminar on the varied Hindu organizations involved in education and development work, both in India and the diaspora (primarily in the context of the project’s three major country foci: India, the US and the UK). This includes guru shishya parampara, akhaadas and sampradyas; organizations set up in the late 19th and early 20th century for social and religious reform in response to colonial attacks on Hinduism and to resist conversions; institutions set up during the freedom movement, as well as after Independence, as part of nation building endeavors by leading freedom fighters; schools and hostels set up by caste groups to promote "modern" education among their respective caste brethren; institutions built by sect leaders for development work and to provide education and health care; organizations working among scheduled tribes and scheduled castes, mainly to combat Christian missionary activity and counter the influence of NGO's supported by western funding agencies; institutions set up to promote Hindu culture through Yoga, Ayurveda and other Indic knowledge systems.
The present seminar is the sixth in a two-year network project series exploring the “Public Representation of a Religion called Hinduism,” funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK: http://www.arts.manchester.ac.uk/hinduism/. Among the areas of special interest are case studies involving specific interventions in the education and development sectors by Hindu organizations, and how these interventions are helping to shape social relations, both in India and the Diaspora (and across the divide between these two):
  • Do these institutions exemplify and offer a uniquely Hindu religious worldview? What are the theological, core beliefs of the founders of these institutions? 
  • How do these institutions relate to the theological aims of the parent body and function in practice over its history?
  • How do the religious beliefs, traditions and structures of these groups or sects relate to the educational and developmental work that they undertake? Is their outreach limited to Hindus or to particular sects? How is the institution different from secular educational and social work institutions?
  • How is Hinduism represented in different types of teaching material used by religious as well as secular educational organizations?
  • To what extent are the services delivered perceived as religious in nature? What patterns emerge out of the mix of religious beliefs and educational and development activities?
  • Why have some initiatives grown rapidly, others merely survived, while others are in decline, or no longer exist?
  • What is the social, political and economic impact of these religious groups on the sections of the population they seek to reach, especially among the poorest and least educated social groups and regions of India?
How does the transnational profile of some organisations affect the ways in which services are delivered?

From: K.V. Dear Friends,
This is to invite you to at participate in an International Seminar on "Hindu Organizations in Education, Health and Development Work" being held on 2nd, 3rd, 4th, March 2010. The seminar is being organized by the Indic Studies Project, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in collaboration with Nehru Memorial Museum and Library at Teen Murti House.
This is perhaps the first of its kind seminar. In addition to academic papers, we have also invited a select group of faith practitioners and spiritual leaders, many of whom are scholars in their own right, to speak about the inspirational philosophy of their respective organizations and faith traditions. We hope that this experiment at creating a space for dialogue between scholars and faith leaders will lead to a fresh approach to study of our faith traditions.
Shankracharya designate, Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati of Jyotirmath will deliver the inaugural address.
The term "Hindu" is being used in its broadest sense and we include spiritual teaching in the term "education."  Many of the practitioners speaking in the conference do not identify themselves as "Hindu" but prefer terms like Sanatan Dharma.
Among the scholar practitioners scheduled to make presentations are:
  • Srivatas Goswami of Radha Raman Ashram, Vrindavan,
  • Kripa Prasad Singh of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram,
  • Nandita Pathak of Deendyal Research Institute and Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalya,
  • Swami Agnivesh of Arya Samaj,
  • Rajiv Vora of Swaraj Vidyapeeth,
  • Shraddhalu Ranade of Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Auroville,
  • Rajendra Singh of Tarun Bharat Sangh and Ganga Yamuna Satyagraha.
  • Kiran Walia and Rajiv Khosla, followers of Ma Nirmala Devi's Sahajyog.
  • Shivamurthy Swamiji of Taralbalu Math, Karnataka.
Academic papers include the following:
  • Gurus and Education: Hindu monastery (matha)-run schools in Karnataka" : Aya Ikegama.
  • The Ashram as Utopia: The Fate of Tagore's Santiniketan: by Sanjeeb Mukherjee;
  • Engaging Faith for Work: The Role of Nivedita Girls' School and Matri Bhavan of Sri Sarada Math and Ramakrishna-Sarada Mission : Subrata Bagchi;
  • Annam Bahu Kurvita:The Indian Discipline of Growing and Sharing Food in Plenty: JK Bajaj.
  • Pravritti & Nivritti: An Anthropological Account of Religious and Cultural Ways in the Care of the Elderly: Meenakshie Verma;
  • Cultural Assimilation and Development: Study of Gahira Guru Cult among the Tribes of Chhattisgarh: Govind Chandra Rath;
  • Hinduizing India through Colonial Education: by Vikas Gupta
  • Under the Sign of Secular: Religion and Faith at Work: Deepa Reddy.
  • Engaging the Practitioner: Boundary Politics in the Academic Study of Hinduism: Maya Warrier 
Those presenting academic papers as well as scholar- practitioners have been requested to address the following set of questions:
  • What is the self identification of the institution? What are the theological, core beliefs behind the founding of that particular institution?
  • Reasons why the institution accepts or refuses to adopt the label "Hindu"? What is the distinctive religious/ spiritual, worldview that influences that particular institution?
  • How do the religious beliefs, traditions and structures of the particular institution relate to the social, educational and developmental work that is being undertaken?
  • Is its outreach limited to any particular group or sects? How is the institution different from "secular" educational and social work institutions?
  • How are the spiritual values of that particular faith tradition represented in the teaching material used by the organization?
  • To what extent are the services delivered perceived as religious in nature?
  • What patterns emerge out of the mix of religious beliefs and educational and development activities?
  • What is the financial support base of the organization?
We have kept adequate time for discussions after each presentation. The final schedule will reach you by the 25th of February. We hope you will find time to join in the deliberations on all three days. Yours sincerely, 
Madhu Purnima Kishwar, Director, Indic Studies Project,
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, 29 Rajpur Road, Delhi 110054
Phone: 011-23978851

Madhu Purnima Kishwar Editor, Manushi Journal,
Founder, Manushi Sangathan Tel: 011 23978851, 23916437.
Visit Manushi www.manushi.in Madhu Kishwar blog at www.madhukishwar.in 

Posted by nizhal yoddha at 2/23/2010 09:44:00 AM

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