Nehru Centre Event: Literalism, Steam Engines and the Vedas: On the Interpretation of Hindu Sacred Texts

Nehru Centre Event
Thursday, 20 October 2011 – 6:30pm to 7:30pm
8 South Audley Street 
London,  W1K 1HF

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms

How do we understand and apply the teachings of centuries-old texts today? How do we make their teachings, grounded in a social structure that no longer exists, relevant in our modern world? How do we interpret these ideas in the light of contemporary science? In recent decades, the interpretation of sacred texts has become not just the pursuit of a few scholars and theologians in the academies and religious institutions but have become the focus of public debate. How do Hindu sacred texts relate to this discussion? What do Hindu sacred texts teach, and how do we understand what they convey? This talk will examine the nature of Hindu sacred texts and explore the way Hindu theologians throughout the centuries have viewed these texts, how they thought they should be read and understood and how their ideas are relevant for Hindus today.
Dr Rembert Lutjeharms from Brussels, Belgium, is the Librarian at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.He was awarded his BA and MA in Oriental Studies from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and successfully completed his D.Phil. in Theology at the University of Oxford in 2010, focusing on the theology of the sixteenth-century poet and literary critic Kavikarnapura. His research interests are Sanskrit poetry and poetics, early Vaisnava history, and Sanskrit hermeneutics. He is also an editor of the Journal of Hindu Studies, published by Oxford University Press.
Nehru Centre – London
(020) 7491 3567