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Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South India

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ISBN: 9780520293014 9780520966291 9780520966291 9780520966291 Year: Pages: 300 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.24 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: Religion --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2017-03-10 11:01:24
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In Hindu Pluralism, Elaine M. Fisher complicates the traditional scholarly narrative of the unification of Hinduism. By calling into question the colonial categories implicit in the term “sectarianism,” Fisher’s work excavates the pluralistic textures of precolonial Hinduism in the centuries prior to British intervention. Drawing on previously unpublished sources in Sanskrit, Tamil, and Telugu, Fisher argues that the performance of plural religious identities in public space in Indian early modernity paved the way for the emergence of a distinctively non-Western form of religious pluralism. This work provides a critical resource for understanding how Hinduism developed in the early modern period, a crucial era that set the tenor for religion’s role in public life in India through the present day.

Sounding Islam

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ISBN: 9780520970762 9780520298712 9780520970762 Year: Pages: 188 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.53 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: Anthropology --- Media and communication --- Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-15 13:34:39
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Sounding Islam provides a provocative account of the sonic dimensions of religion, combining perspectives from the anthropology of media and sound studies, as well as drawing on neo-phenomenological approaches to atmospheres. Using long-term ethnographic research on devotional Islam in Mauritius, Patrick Eisenlohr explores how the voice, as a site of divine manifestation, becomes refracted in media practices that have become integral parts of religious traditions. At the core of Eisenlohr’s concern is the interplay of voice, media, affect, and listeners’ religious experiences. Sounding Islam sheds new light on a key dimension of religion, the sonic incitement of sensations that are often difficult to translate into language.

Impersonations

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ISBN: 9780520972230 9780520301665 Year: Pages: 245 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.72 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: Anthropology --- Religion --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2019-07-03 11:21:05
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Drawing on multisited ethnographic fieldwork and performance analysis, this book centers on an insular community of Smarta brahmin men from the Kuchipudi village in Telugu-speaking South India, who are required to don strī-vēṣam (woman’s guise) and impersonate female characters from Hindu religious narratives. According to the hagiography of Siddhendra, the founding saint of Kuchipudi dance, every brahmin man from a hereditary Kuchipudi family must don strī-vēṣam at least once in his life, a prescription that still resonates in the village today. Impersonation, the term used to indicate the donning of gender guise (vēṣam), is not simply a performative mandate for Kuchipudi brahmin men but also a practice of power that creates normative ideals of brahmin masculinity in village performance and everyday life. However, the construction of brahmin masculinity against the backdrop of impersonation is highly contingent, particularly on account of the expansion of Kuchipudi in the latter half of the twentieth century from a localized village performance to a transnational Indian “classical” dance tradition. By shifting from village to urban and transnational spaces, the book traces the technologies of normativity that create, sustain, and undermine normative ideals of gender, caste, and sexuality through the embodied practice of impersonation in contemporary South India.

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