Workshop: Animal Sacrifice on Trial

Animal Sacrifice on Trial: Cases from South Asia

Monday, June 22, 2015
Room 638-640, 6th floor
190 Avenue de France, 75013 Paris


balanceThis is the first of a set of three workshops related to the project Taking Nature to the Court: Development projects, protected areas and religious reform in South Asia. The project follows up an idea initially developed in the ANR programme Justice and Governance in Contemporary India and South Asia (“Just-India”) according to which the study of court cases might help our understanding of crucial social and political stakes. In this new project we focus on how certain issues related to nature and the environment, and which also involve ritual practices or religious notions, are brought before the court and how they take on a legal expression.

By examining judiciary files, court decisions, newspaper articles, and by relying on informal conversations with the protagonists, we will explore how the question of animal sacrifice is dealt with through judiciary practice. In this context, animal sacrifice becomes an ‘object of law’ which has to be evaluated and regulated not by ritual specialists but by legal professionals.


9h30: Coffee and welcome

10h00 – 12h30: session 1
Anthony Good (Université d’Edimburgh): Sacrifice and the Law in Tamil Nadu, South India
Discussant: Yves Goudineau (EFEO)

Daniela Berti (CNRS, CEH): ‘Live and let live’. Conflict of Values and Political Stakes in Himachal Pradesh, North India
Discussant: Denis Vidal (IRD, URMIS)

12h30 – 14h00: lunch break

14h00 – 16h30: session 2
Deonnie Moodie (University of Oklahoma): Blood, Power, and Public Interest at a Hindu Temple in Kolkata
Discussant: Raphaël Voix (CNRS, CEIAS)

Chiara Letizia (UQAM, Montreal) and Blandine Ripert (CNRS, CEIAS): Preliminary remarks on a PIL filed against animal sacrifice at Gadhimai Mela, Nepal
Discussant: Gérard Toffin (CNRS, CEH)

The full programme, with abstracts, can be downloaded here.

“Taking Nature to the Court” is a joint project of the Centre d’Etudes Himalayennes (CEH) and the Centre d’Etudes de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CEIAS), with support from the NExT programme of the PRES héSam “Dynamiques asiatiques. Échanges, réseaux, mobilités”.


Cite this blog post
Nicolas Sihlé (2015, June 15). Workshop: Animal Sacrifice on Trial. The Himalayas and beyond. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from

Nicolas Sihlé

Nicolas Sihlé, a sociocultural anthropologist, is researcher at the Center for Himalayan Studies, a research unit of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) based in Villejuif (France). He specializes on Tibetan religion and society, and is the author of Rituels bouddhiques de pouvoir et de violence : La figure du tantriste tibétain [Buddhist rituals of power and violence : The figure of the Tibetan tantrist] (Brepols, 2013). His current work focuses on post-Mao socioreligious transitions in and around the famous communities of non-monastic specialists of tantric Buddhism in northeast Tibet (Amdo), and more generally on the comparative anthropology of Buddhism.

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