Institutional Scholarship

"A Dialogue of Life": Fostering Interfaith Coexistence in Hyderabad, India

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dc.contributor.advisor Ngwane, Zolani
dc.contributor.author Leter, Deborah
dc.date.accessioned 2015-09-17T18:34:04Z
dc.date.available 2015-09-17T18:34:04Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/16802
dc.description.abstract This thesis is an ethnographic study of local civil society organizations dedicated to fostering interfaith coexistence and communal harmony amongst Hindu and Muslim communities in Hyderabad, India. My fieldwork for this project consisted of observing programs and conducting interviews with NGO staff members and program participants. By balancing observations from this fieldwork with theoretical knowledge, this thesis analyzes the beliefs motivating NGOs, the kinds of programs they carry out, and the ways in which they respond to the state’s failure to foster interfaith unity by providing alternative civic spaces for people to come together. Motivated by the idea that “economic development programs” have a greater transformative effect on interreligious relations within polarized communities than dialogue-based interfaith work, many of the NGOs I visited see communal peace as a product of harmonious social interactions between individuals. I situate this thesis within the anthropological subfield known as the “anthropology of peace,” and draw primarily from anthropology, peace studies and political science literature to place my fieldwork within a larger discussion of civil society, communal violence, and nationalism. Moreover, I argue that the anthropological study of positive peace—the institutions, structures and attitudes that help build a peaceful society—can meaningfully contribute to strengthening existing peacebuilding efforts. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Anthropology en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
dc.subject.lcsh Hinduism -- Relations -- Islam
dc.subject.lcsh Islam -- Relations -- Hinduism
dc.subject.lcsh Peace-building -- India -- Hyderabad -- Religious aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Non-governmental organizations -- India -- Hyderabad
dc.title "A Dialogue of Life": Fostering Interfaith Coexistence in Hyderabad, India en_US
dc.type Thesis (B.A.) en_US
dc.rights.access Haverford users only


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