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Prof. Peter deSouza from Delhi Co-Teaches a Seminar at the EIB

From September 29 to October 7, 2017, Prof. Peter deSouza and Prof. Ralph Weber will jointly teach a seminar for master's students on political and moral conundrums in modern democracy. Peter deSouza is professor of political theory at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in Delhi, India.

What do you do if a child decides to engage in a religious fasting ritual and eventually comes to die from it? Should the parents be prosecuted? What about the aunt, who is a pediatric by profession and who was present at the ritual? Should she be prosecuted for having failed to intervene? Is this a problem between (religious) tradition and (secular) modernity or how should the case be framed? Is it a merely legal affair, or should moral and political concerns inform the reflection of how best to tackle the issue? This and similar conundrums, which the fact of pluralism proliferates in modern democracy, are at the heart of the seminar entitled Political and Moral Conundrums in Modern Democracy, which Prof. Peter deSouza Delhi, India, will co-teach with Prof. Ralph Weber this and next week.

The cases that the class will investigate include: 1) the handshake controversy in Therwil, 2) M.F. Husain’s nude paintings of Hindu gods and the freedom of expression, 3) the midwife case of Ellinor Grimmark in Sweden, 4) the Margaret Court case and the politics of naming, 5) the Missionaries of Charity and the Indian Government’s new guidelines for adoption, and 6) the 'triple talaq' judgment in the Indian Supreme Court.

Peter Ronald deSouza is a professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) and has held the Dr S. Radhakrishnan Chair of Rajya Sabha till April 2017. He was director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla, where he served two terms from 2007 till 2013. He then, as Interim director, set up the International Center for Human Development (IC4HD) between 2013-14. He was co-director of the Lokniti Programme at CSDS till 2007 and was at the Goa University department of Political Science from 1987-2003.

Ralph Weber is Assistant Professor for European Global Studies at the Institute for European Global Studies. His main research areas are methodological and conceptual aspects of multilingual and transcultural research, comparative philosophy, Chinese and Confucian political philosophy, Chinese politics, the history of political ideas and political theory.