Who is a Hindu? What is Hinduism? Who is a Muslim? What is Islam?

Prof. Arvind Sharma and Dr. Saad Ismail continue their conversation on Hindu-Muslim dialogue. This conversation explores the central role of the historical encounter of the two traditions, and asks whether history is essential or accidental to our encounter. If history is accidental, then this opens up great possibilities for better interfaith relations in the present. Who is a Hindu? Who is a Muslim? What is Hinduism? What is Islam? These notoriously difficult definitions are explored. Finally, the discussion centers on the question of religious identity, and what are the different possibilities available for us to envision our identities.

Formerly of the IAS, Arvind Sharma is the Birks Professor of Comparative Religion in the School of Religious Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada in, He has taught in Austrlia (University of Queensland, Sydney) and the USA (Northeastern, Temple, Boston, Harvard) and has published extensively in the fields of comparative religion and Indology. He was instrumental, through three global conferences (2006, 2011, 2016), in facilitating the adoption of a Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions. His recent books include The Ruler’s Gaze: A Study of British Rule over India from a Saidian perspective, Gandhi: A Spiritual Biography; Hindusim and It’s Sense of History and Decolonizing Indian Studies. He has contributed to and edited Our Religions: The Seven World Religions Introduced by Prominent Scholars from Each Tradition. He is also the general editor of the Encyclopedia of Indian Religions (Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer,2017).

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