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	Cycle de conférences de Carl W. ERNST

Cycle de conférences de Carl W. ERNST

(Professeur invité de l'EHESS) Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Mai 2019

Carl W. Ernst is a specialist in Islamic studies, with a focus on West and South Asia. His publications, based on the study of Arabic, Persian, and Urdu, have been mainly devoted to critical issues of Islamic studies, premodern and contemporary Sufism, and Muslim engagements with Indian religions. He has received research fellowships from the Fulbright program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and he has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He studied comparative religion at Stanford University (A.B. 1973) and Harvard University (Ph.D. 1981), and he taught at Pomona College (1981-92). He is now William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Co-Director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations.

Cycle de conférences

The Ironic Apocalypse of ‘Universal Peace’ (sulh-i kull)

Jeudi 9 mai 2019 | 15h - 18h (salle A_551) - 54, boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris

Dans le cadre du séminaire “Interactions between Islamicate and Indic Societies in South and South-East Asia: Comparative Perspectives”

This lecture will be an exploration of the use of this phrase in the writings of Abu al-Fazl ‘Allami, considered against (1) the background of the notion of a treaty (sulh) in Islamic and Mongol law, (2) the meaning of the phrase in Safavid/Mughal Persian poetry, (3) an analysis of a treatise entitled Sulh-i kull by the Sufi writer Khub Muhammad Chishti (fl. 16th century), and (4) the construction of this phrase in terms of tolerance by British colonial administrators and Orientalists. The argument is that the phrase does not describe a coherent political philosophy, but is instead a utopian slogan for universalism as a personal attitude, often treated ironically in poetry. It was nevertheless used as part of the propaganda in support of the regime of Akbar.

 

Persianate Concepts of Religion in the Ā’īn-i Akbarī

Mardi 14 mai 2019 | 17h - 19h (salle A-751) - 54 boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris

Dans le cadre du séminaire “Asie du Sud et culture persane. Productions savantes, traductions, interactions”

One of the remarkable contributions of Abū al-Fażl’s Ā’īn-i Akbarī is the extensive account of India that occupies much of the second volume. While early interpreters of the text have seen it primarily as a Muslim engagement with Hindu religion, Abū al-Fażl actually presents Indian science, religious thought, and ritual without any reference to Islamic religious categories. Abū al-Fażl’s avoidance of Arabic Islamic terms, and his nearly exclusive use of Persian vocabulary, will be analyzed in relation to several additional problems: the overall genre and structure of the Ā’īn and its relation to Mongol chronicles, the distortions in the English translations, the role of contemporary Persianate religious movements, and the organization and meaning of the section on India. The result is a presentation of Akbar's empire as a Mongol successor state in which Islam plays no defining role.

 

Anglo-Persian texts and the colonial understanding of religion  

Mardi 28 mai 2019 | 10h30 - Centre Alexandre Koyré 27 rue Damesme 75013 Paris

Dans le cadre du Perso-Indica workshop, “John McGregor Murray: Persianate and Indic Cultures in British South Asia”

The British conquest of India included a period (1750-1832) marked by a demand for explanations of the religions of India, leading to the commissioning of a number of original writings on this subject in Persian. Unlike the original works on Hinduism by Hindu authors, the “Anglo-Persian” writings were more explicitly shaped by European concepts of religion. This lecture will examine two Persian texts on Indian religions commissioned by British colonial officials, which H. H. Wilson used as sources for his Sketch of the Religious Sects of the Hindus (1828-32). The analysis will highlight the impact of European concepts of religion on the emerging notion of Hinduism.

 

Muhammad Ghawth’s additions to the yoga practices in The Ocean of Life

Mardi 4 juin 2019 | 17h - 19h (salle A-751) - 54 boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris

Dans le cadre du séminaire “Asie du Sud et culture persane. Productions savantes, traductions, interactions”

The yogic and occult practices found in the corpus of texts identified with The Pool of Nectar and the Fifty Verses of Kamarupa included core techniques involving breath, summoning spirits, and meditating on chakras and mantras. Like other editors and translators of the text, Muhammad Ghawth was critical of the earlier versions, but he also enthusiastically inserted an array of new materials both Indic and Islamic. This presentation examines the ninth and tenth chapters of the text, which completely replaced the original contents of the earlier versions, with a long collection of Sufi exercises in chapter 9, and a detached Qur’anic and Qur’anic cosmogony that includes an account of the Goddess and the Waqwaq tree and their role in creation. The presentation concludes with an evaluation of the act of introducing these new materials into the text, along with their implications for understanding the nature of translation.

EHESS
CNRS

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John MacGregor Murray (1745-1822): Persianate and Indic Cultures in British South Asia

Journée(s) d'étude - Mardi 28 mai 2019 - 10:00This workshop proposes to examine European engagement with Persian language and textual culture in South Asia. In Mughal India (1526-1857) and in the Princely States emerging with the decline of Mughal central power, Persian language established itse (...)(...)

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Bodies and Artefacts: Relics and other devotional supports in Shia societies in the Indic and Iranian worlds

Journée(s) d'étude - Lundi 27 mai 2019 - 10:00Programme (En anglais) 10:15 - Welcome Address by CEIAS Director10:20 - Opening remarks by Michel Boivin, Annabelle Collinet, Sepideh Parsapajouh  10:30 - Karen Ruffle (University of Toronto), EHESS-IISMM Invited ProfessorPresence in Absence: The For (...)(...)

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