Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai is offering an online course titled ‘Faith, Pandemic and Reason: Texts and Contexts’. The course is scheduled from October 20 to 29, 2021.
About the Course
In both popular and academic thinking, reason and faith appear as absolute binaries. We often see our own age as one inspired and guided by reason and rational order. Our institutions of governance, judiciary, and research advance a spirit of critique and inquiry over adherence to dogma. And yet, as public behaviour during the pandemic has shown, the tension between the two is far from settled. In both waves of the pandemic in India, religious gatherings proceeded despite rising infections and protests by healthcare workers, medical experts and civil society.
That said, India of course is no stranger to this tenuous relationship between faith and reason. A sizeable body of colonial literature from the country displays, for instance, the mix of horror, fascination and disgust underlining the western gaze of ‘native’ rituals and pilgrimages despite the spread of infectious, life-threatening diseases. Responses from the emerging Indian intelligentsia ranged likewise from measured support for the western, rational standpoint to outright resistance against attempts of interference in matters of faith.
In this context, it might prove especially interesting to revisit some of these past and current debates and events from the lens of justice, interfaith relations as well as the reason v/s religion binary. The legal system in India today and attendant notions of justice draws heavily from western notions of fairness, rationality and public order while also translating these into idioms and notions more rooted in Indian contexts.
The course uses this as a point of departure to further explore intercultural encounters, engagements between faiths, and implications of the religion v/s reason debate in public health interventions, especially in times of crises like a pandemic. Readings for the course are cross-disciplinary and cater to multiple interests including literature, cultural studies, philosophy and law.
The course is scheduled for 15 hours.
12 compulsory hours.
3 optional hours for writing a response paper.
The course shall be conducted virtually, on Google Meet.
October 20, 2021: Nature and Scope of the Course
October 21, 2021: Faith, Public Health and Human Rights
October 22, 2021: Indian Constitution and Scientific Temperament
October 23, 2021: Act of Gods and Pandemics: Religio-Historical Narratives
October 25, 2021: Imperialism, Disgust and Fear: Colonial Reports of Indian Public Health
October 26, 2021: Indian Responses: Critique and Nationalism
October 27, 2021: The Tragedy of Faith
October 28, 2021: Public Health, Image and Text
October 29, 2021: Who Heals? Pandemic Goddesses and Inoculations in India
Timings: 5-6 PM on 6 days, 5-7 PM on 3 days (tentative)
Who can Apply?
The course is open for all, but primarily aimed at undergraduate students from the humanities and social sciences streams, and also those from other streams with a strong interest in cultural, social issues.
How to Apply?
Fee: INR 500
Course fee (for external participants only): INR 500.
Please attach the payment receipt while filling the registration form.
Bank details for payment of registration fee
Bank: Punjab National Bank
Address: B1, Lgl-34 Galleria Hiranandani Grd Powai 400076
Account Name: Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai
Account No.: 8709000100017230
IFSC Code: PUNB0063210