On August 21, 2023, our Religion Professor, Devaka Premawardhana delivered the lecture “ Realizing Our One World: Strengthening Interconnection” as part of Week Nine of the Interfaith Lecture Series of the Chautauqua Institution. https://www.youtube.com/shorts/ahc8a2TpnJE
The Chautauquan Daily interviewed Dr. Premawardhana right before the lecture. https://chqdaily.com/…/devaka-premawardhana-to-talk…/
An excerpt from the interview:
The talk, Premawardhana said, will focus partially on the idea of “tribalism,” which ties into the ideas expressed in his op-ed.
“We call it sometimes political tribalism, or the way in which we become sorted into political tribes,” Premawardhana said, “with the understanding being that this is a way of indicating how incapable we are of talking across the divides, or engaging with things that are different or things that are outside of our own so-called tribes.”
Premawardhana said he felt there was something to the issue of polarization, and that we are in “dangerously polarized times,” but as he discussed in his op-ed and plans to elaborate upon in his lecture, he’s not sure that “tribalism or anything referencing tribes” is the “appropriate term.”
While communities like the Makhuwa-speaking people, whom Premawardhana has studied, could be “construed as tribes,” he said, and anthropologists have historically done so, they live in ways that are “actually quite inclusive of things outside of their own community, that are actually quite open to engagement with alterity.”