Dr. Sri Iyer is talking about her book.
(1.) What is Religion?
‘Religion is what societies hold to be sacred, comprised an institutionalised systems of symbols, beliefs, values and practises focused one questions of ultimate meaning.’
Galileo, Voltaire have forecast the end of religion since 1700’s.
(2.) 84% of global pop reports a religious affiliation; Dharmics are roughly 22/23% (Hindus 15% Buddhists rest). Sikhs and Jains are in the other religion category along with Bahai’s and Zoros but Jews get their own slice at 0.2%.
(3.) Hindu and Muslim median age is very young. Muslims 23, Hindus 26; oldest are Jews at 36.
(4.) What is the economics of religion? Application of economic and statistical tools to evaluate the role of religion in society. This stems from Chicago School but has historical precedent (Smith in 1776 wrote about this in Wealth of Nations). Lots of other scholars include Max Weber but many more
– rational choice
– macroeconomic growth
– Demography, health & Education
-Terrorism and conflict
– Insurance & Service provision
(5.) The economics of Religion in India; Dr. Iyer’s book published in Harvard University Press 2018.
(6.) why do we need the Eco of Religion in India.
– very little research on the Economics of Hinduism
– highest incidences of religious violence
– since 80’s rise of over Hindu nationalism and BJP
– Indian religion historically and contemporary attitudes towards it
– Survey of 600 Hindu, Muslim, Xtisns, Jain & Sikh religious orgs across 7 Indian states and their religious and non religious service provision
– Religious education, modernising the Madrasa
(7.) Distribution of religions census 2011
Muslims 14.23% (150mm ppl)
(8.) Evolution of Hinduism from IVC. Dr. Iyer traces core Hinduism but states that Hinduism has been extremely adaptable.
– World Value Surveys (1990, 1995, 2001) / Questions on God, religion, reincarnation, influence of religion on social and political outcomes
– Indians very religious but secular.
(9.) Belief in God near-universal but pragmatic about religion. 70% of Buddhists believe in God; +94% for Xtian, Hindu, Muslim (98%), Sikhs (second at 95).
Thirupathi and Golden Temple gets 30,000 visitors a day (GT) and Thirupath (100k+)
Devotional music 1/3 of music market. 400crore rupee market
Religious attendance averages about 25%
Amartya Sen wrote about Hindu beliefs a long time / “it would be naive to assume a Hindu taking part in Saraswati rituals believes a lady in Heaven sitting on a swan.” I’ve paraphrased.
(10.) Hindu fundamentalists and Hindu-Muslim conflict since 1950
– Dr. Iyer believes Hindu fundamentalism encourages Islolationism but is less so than Abrahamic fundamentalism because the former tries to incorporated untouchability and lower castes.
– Hindu Muslim conflict dataset. 39 religious riots each year (1950-2006). On average 2574 people killed, injured or arrested each year.
– relationship between economic growth and riots – her data source is Times of India (1950-2006). Dr. Iyer showing the methodological framework of data collection.m around about 20-30 variables.
(11.) Snapshot of findings on Hindu-Muslim riots
– Mainly urban riots and certain towns are more prone (Surat Mumbai). Not to say there aren’t rural riots but the trend is in one direction. spatial correlation in riots (riots happens in spurts; it spreads through district to district).
– Cause is riot. Religious (public rituals Holi/Muharram, animal slaughter,desecration or attack’s in a place of religious worship).
– Political and Other. Musics in front of a mosque. Usually overlooked for instance Babri Masjid is Prime land (public property) in Ayodhya so there is often a property angle to these religious riots.
Omg riots INCREASE the vote share of the BJP by 5-7%
They created a “festival instrument”. When Hindu festival fell on a Friday (both religions milling about). Very high correlations % between riots and “Hindu Friday Festivals.” U can actually swap that and it can control relationship between riots and election.
(12) Capacity for innovation in Hinduism is great
– book starts to focus on social service provision in India.
– Dr. Iyer argues that Hinduism will innovate on “periphery” rather than core. If Hinduism provides more social service it might mitigate conflict.
(13.) the Indian Religion Survey (2006-2010). Lots of discussion about how the survey was conducted. Very systematic.
-Hindus and Muslims (organisations) more likely to describe themselves as very strong religiously while the others Xtian/other likely to describe as very mild.
– Christian and Muslim organisation much more focussed on religious education.
– Which social practises associated with religion /
Interestingly caste identity is weakening but marriage within caste has stayed the same.
Lots of “progressive value”; there was feeling among researchers that Orgos were telling them what they wanted to hear.
– Interesting in non-religious services Muslims step in for the state quite dramatically. Hindu orgs mainly providing food distribution / Muslims and Xtians provide health, education and child care.
Picture of a food distribution. Large scale, costly operation. Followed by a pic of a girl Madrassa. Then a cricket match between Hindu temple and Muslim madrassa in Maharashtra.