Roundtable Speaker Series | Anthropomorphic Techniques in the Worship of Mount Govardhan

Date: Thursday, March 24, 2016 Haberman Anthropomorphic Techniques in the Worship of Mount Govardhan Flyer
Time: 12:00 PM-1:30 PM
Location: IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute UL 4115P

This presentation examines the worship of stones from Mount Govardhan, a sacred hill in north-central India. Particular emphasis will be given to the anthropomorphic ritual process of dressing the revered stones and adding a face to them for the purpose of establishing and enhancing intimate relationships with them. Consideration will be given to the difference between such anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism. The ornamentation of stones will be illustrated with the use of powerpoint slides.

David L. Haberman is Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University Bloomington and author of several scholarly articles and books, including Journey Through the Twelve Forests: An Encounter with Krishna (Oxford University Press, 1994), River of Love in an Age of Pollution: The Yamuna River of Northern India (University of California Press, 2006), and People Trees: Worship of Trees in Northern India (Oxford University Press, 2013). His interests, research, and teaching include human conceptions of and interactions with the nonhuman world as well as the manner in which religious worldviews shape human attitudes and behavior toward the environment and nonhuman world and deep ecology.

This talk is part of a roundtable speaker series sponsored by the Indiana University Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society. The talk is co-sponsored by the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute.

New IU ethics consortium announces funding for research projects

The Indiana University Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society is offering funding for research proposals from IU faculty that explore the theme of wonder, especially as it intersects with nature and the environment.

The IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society is an interdisciplinary association of scholars, academic programs and research centers from the eight campuses of Indiana University. The consortium was launched in January 2014 to leverage IU’s strengths in the interdisciplinary study of religion and advance research in key thematic areas.

This is the first call for research proposals from the new consortium. The research proposals are part of the first phase of a two-year thematic initiative — “Wonder and the Natural World” — sponsored by the consortium.

rachel carsonThe approaching 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s book “The Sense of Wonder” in 2015 makes the IU consortium’s theme especially timely, said Lisa Sideris, associate professor of religious studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington, who is also the inaugural director of the consortium.

“Wonder has played a key role in the environmental movement since that movement’s inception,” Sideris said. “We’re seeking proposals that ‘push the envelope’ in exploring the intersecting themes of wonder and nature, such as war and nature (‘shock and awe’), children’s natural spirituality, cinematic or fictional representations of wonder, even areas such as genetic engineering and wonder in artificial environments, like theme parks.”

Funding of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for teams is available. Full-time, tenure-track IU faculty members from any IU campus are eligible to apply, with proposals that cut across disciplines, units or campuses especially welcome.

The deadline for proposals is Sept. 1, 2014. Funding awards will be announced at the end of October. Recipients will present their preliminary findings and works-in-progress at a daylong symposium at IU Bloomington in May 2015.

The full call for proposals may be found online on the Department of Religious Studies website. Proposals should be emailed to Abby Gitlitz. For additional information on the consortium or the funding awards, contact Lisa Sideris.