We now have a third conference to add to our list of achievements. The Sakta conference which took place on 10–11 September 2011 was highly successful with over fifty participants and twelve specialist scholars.
The conference was held in collaboration with the section for the Study of Religion, Aarhus University and the project leaders were Professor Gavin Flood (OCHS) and Bjarne Wernicke Olesen (Aarhus University). The Nehru Centre very kindly provided funding for the conference.
The main aim of the conference was to present an interdisciplinary survey of Sakta history, practice and doctrine in its diversity as well as to convey something of the distinctive Sakta world-view that and sets ‘Saktism’ apart from other South Asian religious traditions. Headway in this field will be of great value for the future study of religion in South Asia.
The conference addressed the questions of Shakti from a number of perspectives: a text-historical or philological perspective; an anthropological perspective on contemporary practice; a doctrinal or theological perspective on theological reflection based on the textual material that has been established to date; an art-historical angle; as well as a perspective of the study of religion.
We are currently working on getting the material presented at the conference ready for publication. The research from our first Shivdasani Conference “Archaeology and Text: The Temple in South Asia”, has been published and the research from our 2nd Shivdasani Conference “Thinking inside the Box: The Concept of a Category in Indian Philosophy”, is in the process of being published.