Sustainability and the Crisis of Transcendence
David Deal Lecture in Asian Studies
Prasenjit Duara, Raffles Professor of Humanities, Director of Asian Research Institute, National University of Singapore
In a new book manuscript from which he will speak, Prof. Duara addresses the crisis of global sustainability, and its links to national state formation, capitalism, and an ethos of conquest inspired by the radical Abrahamic (i.e., Christian, Jewish, and Muslim) separation of man and nature.
Turning Max Weber's (VEY-ber's) famous thesis on its head, Duara asks: Are there Asian modes of transcendent thought that may be better suited to sustaining human culture in the Anthropocene than the consumptive patterns supported by capitalism. One of the few scholars alive with the wide-ranging historical knowledge necessary to such a task, Duara develops a thesis that is provocative, deeply philosophical, and inspirational.