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Sustainability and the Crisis of Transcendence: The Long View from Asia

Event Type
Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures, Department of History, Center for Historical Interpretation, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, and School of Literature, Cultures & Linguistics
319 Gregory Hall
Feb 23, 2017   3:30 - 5:00 pm  
Prof. Prasenjit Duara (Duke University)

The crisis of global modernity has been produced by human overreach that was founded upon a paradigm of national modernization. Today, three global changes: the rise of non-western powers, the crisis of environmental sustainability and the loss of authoritative sources of transcendence – the ideals, principles and ethics once found in religions -- define our condition. The physical salvation of the world is becoming the transcendent goal of our times, transcending national sovereignty. The foundations of sovereignty can no longer be sought in tunnelled histories of nations; we are recognizing that histories have always been circulatory and the planet is a collective responsibility.

Prasenjit Duara is the Oscar Tang Chair of East Asian Studies at Duke University. Born and educated in India, he received his PhD in Chinese history from Harvard University. He was Professor of History and East Asian Studies at University of Chicago (1991-2008) and Raffles Professor and Director of Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore (2008-2015). His latest book is The Crisis of Global Modernity: Asian Traditions and a Sustainable Future (Cambridge 2014).

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