Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

Religious Networks and Political Ideas in Asian Perspective

Saturday, July 7
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Maple, Lower Ground Floor

This panel highlights the travels and transformations of religious and political ideas and practice across the regions of South and Southeast Asia from the early centuries of the Common Era to the 19th century. Buddhist monastic and lay identities and networks are revealed in the longue durée, as are the roles of migration, pilgrimage and patronage, and the intersection of the religious and political imagination. The panel looks beyond the religious sphere towards political culture, especially the travels of political ideas and practice, in a comparative perspective.


 Within a geographical canvas that stretches from South Asia, the Himalayan borderlands (Tibet and Nepal) and Sri Lanka to Burma/Myanmar and Indonesia, the five papers reveal the contours of multiple evolving and intersecting spheres of religious and knowledge networks. This is done through a variety of sources from different regions, including religious texts, biographical narratives, and inscriptions, as well as the material evidence from archaeology.


 The panel emphasizes the need to break through spatial and temporal boundaries while exploring the history of religions and the history of ideas. Underlining the need for new theoretical frameworks, it urges a comparative perspective that takes into account the contours, textures, and limits of historical connectivities and interactions across the regions of Asia.

Upinder Singh

University of Delhi, India

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Upinder Singh

University of Delhi, India

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Vincent Tournier

School of Oriental and African Studies, United Kingdom

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Sanjukta Datta

Ashoka University, India

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Mekhola Gomes

Ambedkar University Delhi, India

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Marta Sernesi

School of Oriental and African Studies, United Kingdom

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Alexey Kirichenko

Moscow State University, Russia

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