Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Bocking, Brian
'Representing Sikhism'
Conference honouring the Irish Sikh scholar Max Arthur Macauliffe on the centenary of his death
UCC, Cork, Western Gateway Building
Conference Organising Committee Chairperson
Optional Fields

The Ambassador of India Mr Debashish Chakravarti  and Mrs Adity Chakravarti are to attend a conference in Cork on Friday 15 March organised by UCC’s Study of Religions department to honour the work of Max Arthur Macauliffe, the great Irish scholar of the Sikh religion. Macauliffe is deeply respected by Sikhs and scholars of Sikhism worldwide for his publications on Sikh scripture and history, but few realise he was an Irishman. Distinguished speakers from the USA, Canada, UK and Ireland will gather at ‘Representing Sikhism’ to discuss Macauliffe, 100 years to the day since his death (11 September 1838 – 15 March 1913).

Born in Limerick and baptised as Michael McAuliffe, he later began using ‘Max Arthur Macauliffe’ when he joined the Indian Civil Service in 1862 and was posted to Punjab. He is believed to have later converted to Sikhism.

Speakers at the conference include: 

·         Tadhg Foley, Professor Emeritus of English, National University of Ireland, Galway,

·         Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh, Crawford Family Professor of Religion, Colby College, Maine, USA

·         Anne Murphy, Chair of Punjabi Language, Literature, and Sikh Studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

·         Christopher Shackle, Emeritus Professor of the Modern Languages of South Asia and Professorial Research Associate in the Department of the Study of Religions at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London, UK.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Professor Brian Bocking, Head of the Study of Religions Department at UCC comments "We are delighted to welcome the Ambassador of India to UCC for the first ever conference on Sikhism in Ireland. More than a century ago Macauliffe, an Irishman, devoted himself to the study of Sikhism and his achievements are well known in India. Yet Macauliffe's achievements have not been appreciated in Ireland - until now."

Professor Bocking added "We already introduce our students at UCC to the study of Sikhism and we hope to establish a lectureship in the subject before long.  This conference in Cork has generated interest as far afield as India and the USA. It's a really significant milestone for the growth of Sikh Studies in Ireland and Europe".

The centennial conference, which is free and open to the public (no registration required), takes place at 2pm, Friday March 15  2013, in the Western Gateway Building (Western Road), UCC. It will be followed by a reception with Punjabi food and Bhangra music/dance. All are welcome.

For the full programme please see  

Cork University Foundation from donations from the Irish Sikh community