In the nation states of South Asia, religion continues to play a central role in public life, and religious movements of various hues and vintage continue to offer vital sources of personal and collective identity. Recent academic discussions have tended to concern themselves with contemporary fundamentalist trends which have come to dominate politics, though there have also been readings against the grain, investigating the plurality of traditions that have existed and proliferated on the subcontinent. However, little attempt has been made to explore how such contradictory trends and pulls have coexisted and interacted with each other through the ages. This volume analyses these pluralities while also examining the homogeneities being forged. The attempt is to explore the relationship between the foundation of a new religious community, the formation of canons, and the various devices which made it possible for these religious traditions to stake their authority. The essays in this volume offer vivid glimpses of the interdependence and interaction which formed a vital component of the religious history of the subcontinent, of the selections made by specific traditions from the same storehouse of key texts, of their overlapping but also sharp demarcations from each other. This book will be indispensable for religion, culture, politics, and South Asia specialists, historians, sociologists and all those interested in the complex religious traditions of South Asia.
About the Author:
VASUDHA DALMIA is Professor of Hindi and Modern South Asian Studies, University of California, Berkley, USA.ANGELIKA MALINAR & MARTIN CHRISTOF are Research Fellows at the Department of Indology and Comparative Religion, University of Tuebingen, Germany.