Ingo Strauch, UNIL
Cette conférence sera donnée en anglais.
Thinking of India one image suddenly appears: a cow standing in the middle of a street, not caring for the traffic around her and sometimes even venerated by the people passing by. The veneration of cows has a long tradition in Indian culture and does even affect political discussions today. As a concept, it is closely related to the principle of non-violence that is firmly rooted not only in Hindu traditions, but also in Jainism and Buddhism. All these religious movements also share the common view of a cycle of rebirths that governs the human existence and determines the quality of present and future life.
I will try to give an overview about the historical development of these ideas and their interrelationship. A special focus will be given to the position of animals in the various concepts and its significance for the emergence and prevalence of vegetarism in various religious communities.