About the Soli Sorabjee Lecture Series:
This lecture series engages with themes of "justice" -- broadly defined to include the interrogation of human rights, historical narratives, literary and political representations, gender and social justice, citizenship and democracy, and cross-border connections between the nations of South Asia. Our goal is to expose students at Brandeis (and the larger public) to the scholarship being conducted in the multidisciplinary fields of South Asian Studies, both in the United States and in South Asia itself, as well as to the vast range of South Asian intellectual and artistic traditions. The series is sponsored by the South Asian Studies Program. It was named after the honorable Soli J. Sorabjee, former attorney general of India and a friend of Brandeis University.
Fall 2015 Lecture: The Political Theology of Modern Yoga
Featuring Christian Lee Novetzke, Professor of Comparative Religion, South Asia Studies, and International Studies at the University of Washington
Thursday, November 12, 2015
5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Presentation Room, Shapiro Admission Center
Yoga represents far more than a set of healthy stretches or mind-calming exercises. Yoga is a civilizational force that reshapes the societies that embrace it. Our studies of yoga have investigated the history, literature, and practice of yoga, and many commentators have studied the formation of yoga as a cultural commodity in the modern world. Yet a key aspect of yoga as a civilizational force has elided critique. This is an understanding of the politics of yoga, and in particular, of the politics at its core.
In his talk, Professor Christian Lee Novetzke will discuss yoga as a political ideology and, in particular, as counterpoint to the current resurgence of debates about “political theology,” the secularization of formerly religious concepts. As yoga moves ever closer to the center of American life, he will seek to understand how this growth may influence far more than our physical or mental health, but might alter our shared political life as well.
Christian Lee Novetzke is Professor of Comparative Religion, South Asia Studies, and International Studies at the University of Washington. His scholarly work includes the books Religion and Public Memory (Columbia University Press 2008), The Quotidian Revolution (Columbia University Press 2017), and Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation, with William Elison and Andy Rotman (Harvard University Press 2016).