Föreläsningarna är öppna för alla, men med tanke på platsbristen vore vi tacksamma om alla personer utanför den ordinarie seminariegruppen föranmäler sig till Peter Jackson Rova (peter.jackson.rova@rel.su.se) senast en vecka i förväg.


Kl 13-15 Ravi Gupta: Who owns religion? Toward a Dialogue between Scholar and Practitioner 

Kl 16-18 Jan Bremmer: Religious Plurality and Diversity in Antiquity

Who owns religion? Toward a Dialogue between Scholar and Practitioner 

Ravi Gupta

Who should speak for a religion—the scholar who has spent years studying it, or the faithful person who practices it in daily life? What are the challenges and benefits of each approach? Can one be both a faithful practitioner and a skeptical scholar? In this lecture, Professor Gupta examines one of the classic problems of Religious Studies—the insider-outsider debate—looking at it from the perspective of his own area of specialization, namely, Hinduism, where the relationship between scholars and practitioners has been increasingly fraught in recent years.

Ravi M. Gupta is the Charles Redd Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Religious Studies Program at Utah State University. He is the author or editor of four books, including an abridged translation of the Bhagavata Purana (with Kenneth Valpey), published in 2017 by Columbia University Press. Ravi completed his doctorate in Hindu Studies at Oxford University and subsequently taught at the University of Florida, Centre College, and the College of William and Mary. He has received four teaching awards, a National Endowment for the Humanities summer fellowship, two visiting fellowships at Oxford, and a book award. He is a Permanent Research Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and a past president of the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies.

Religious Plurality and Diversity in Antiquity

Jan Bremmer

In my lecture I will start by looking at the genealogy of the term ‘religious pluralism’ and its meaning in comparison with ‘religious diversity’. In titles of books, the expression ‘religious pluralim’ takes off only in 1980 after the publication of the British theologian and philosopher John Hick’s (1922-2012) famous study: God Has Many Names: Britain’s New Religious Pluralism. Since then, there has been an endless stream of books and articles with ‘religious pluralism’ in the title, but much less in the study of the ancient world, where we find it only used, as far as I can see, by historians of Roman religion. Making use of the concepts of pluralism and diversity, I will start by looking at Herodotus’ view of Persian religion as an example of religious diversity and the invention of the term ‘superstition’ , then look at the vocabulary of diversity in the Roman Republic and the early Principate and, finally, albeit only summarily, at the place of diversity and pluralism in Late Antiquity, followed by some final considerations.

Jan N. Bremmer is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. He is the author of, most recently, Initiation into the Mysteries of the Ancient World (2014), Maidens, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays I (2017) and, as co-editor with Laura Feldt, of Marginality, Media, and Mutations of Religious Authority in the History of Christianity (2019).