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AAWH 5th Congress  

Asia and the Globe: Connecting the Past with the Present

12-13 October 2022

India International Centre

New Delhi, India


Mahalakshimi_Selfie 1.jpeg

Religion and Society

This panel will have papers, which look at religion in a socio-economic and political context, from the Ancient to the Contemporary period. They will examine how many of these religions evolved over time in their own distinct way in different parts of the world. Papers may also look at intra-Asian connections, as well as the connections between Asia and the rest of the world in the role played by religion. This kind of study is of particular relevance today when identity based politics (including religious and other identities like caste) is spreading globally.


Keynote Speaker

Dr. R. Mahalakshmi


Centre for Historical Studies

Jawaharlal Nehru University

New Delhi-110067, India


Indian History Congress


Studies in History

Her message to you

At a time when religion has been yoked to the defining of private lives and public spaces, it is of immense relevance for the times we live in that the organizers have included this very important theme on 'Religion and Society', and I am honored to be delivering the keynote address. Religion has been central to the unfolding of historical processes in different contexts. As historians, individually and collectively, it has been incumbent upon us to understand, examine and deconstruct the way religion and society intersect. South Asia has been the cradle of some of the major religions in the world, and some spectacular civilizations have emerged here. As a specialist in early South Asian religious traditions, my work has focused on the manner in which religious ideas and institutions have affected state formation, resulted in the interweaving of political ideologies and religious legitimation, and contributed to the configuration of class, caste and gender identities. I eagerly await our colleagues from across the globe at the 5th AAWH conference to learn more about other contexts in which religion has played an important role in shaping the political environment as well as social identities. I look forward to your participation in raising issues of significance that have a bearing on our pasts as well as the present.


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