This event occurred September 8th, 2008
The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs
Peter van der Veer, University Professor at Utrecht, explored different patterns of secularism in India and China, with special attention to the historical legacies of colonialism and the nation-building projects first undertaken in the 19th century. The government hostility towards religion in China, evident both before and after the 1949 revolution, was in part a reaction to the negative colonial and missionary experience. In India, a more constructive relationship between secularism, nationalism, and democracy was shaped by a very different colonial legacy.
Peter van der Veer is University Professor at the University of Utrecht. An expert on comparative religion, he has written widely on religion, society, and nationalism, from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Among his many books are Imperial Encounters: Religion, Nation, and Empire and Religious Nationalism: Hindus and Muslims in India.