Main content

Professor Giddens looks at the links between tradition and fundamentalism and argues that all traditions are invented traditions. Traditions are not impervious to change.

Professor Giddens was director of the London School of Economics and he has been described as 'Britain's best-known social scientist since Keynes'.

The lectures are delivered from five major cities around the world, locating the lectures themselves within the cultural variety of the world across which they were broadcast.

In his third lecture, delivered from Delhi, Professor Giddens looks at the links between tradition and fundamentalism and argues that all traditions are invented traditions. Much of what we think of as traditional, and steeped in the mists of time, is actually a product, at most, of the last couple of centuries, and is often much more recent than that. It is a myth to think of traditions as impervious to change. Traditions, he says, evolve over time, but also can be quite suddenly altered or transformed.

Available now

28 minutes

Broadcast

Featured in...

New to the Reith Lectures? Here’s where to start

Four lectures recommended by the series producer.

The Hellishly Difficult War Quiz

How much do you know about historical conflicts and those who fought in them?

Podcast