• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Identity Politics in India and Europe combines qualitative methods (20 interviews) with historical and philosophical analysis. The first part of the book discusses the history of perceptions between the Europe of Latin Christianity and the so-called Muslim world, starting from the 7th century onwards. The second part is devoted to a discussion on the emergence of modernity and how it changed the identity politics of earlier times. The third part explores the role that intellectual elites have to play. It comprises interviews of eminent scholars and thinkers in India such as Imtiaz Ahmad and Ashis Nandy. These make for an insightful read, especially as subtle ideological differences surface in their responses to a set of common questions.

Identity Politics in Europe
Identity politics in Europe

The term ‘Europecan be understood to refer to a blurred geographical notion with fuzzy borders, especially towards the East. It can also be understood to refer to an area where a particular semiotic reference frame (civilisation) evolved out of the debris of the western part of the Roman Empire, an emerging Latinate Christianity and some Germanic legal and military traditions.1 This process was accompanied by mutually reflecting perceptions of the ‘self’ and the ‘other’. The ‘other’ in this interplay was often heathendom, more often and more specifically Islam (the external ‘other’) and Judaism (the internal ‘other’). The emerging reference frame informed a social system that ostensibly focussed on a specific form of Christianity but which was not ...

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