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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 Drawing on previously unpublished sources in Sanskrit, Tamil, and Telugu, Fisher argues that the performance of plural religious identities in public space in Indian early modernity paved the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.

What Is a Family?

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ISBN: 9780520974135 9780520316089 Year: Pages: 291 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.77 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2019-09-20 11:21:03
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What is a family? The essays gathered here explore disparate family histories in early modern Japan, attending variously to the samurai elite, agrarian villagers, urban merchants, communities of outcastes, and the circles surrounding priests, artists, and scholars. They draw on diverse sources—from population registers and legal documents to personal letters and diaries, from genealogies and necrologies to popular fiction and drama. And while some examine collective practices (the adoption of heirs, the veneration of ancestors), others look intimately at individual actors (a runaway daughter, a murderous wife). What unites these stories is the political and social order of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1868), which structured all lives. Families navigated its constraints differently, but the circumstances that made one household unlike another were framed, then as now, by prevailing laws, norms, and controls on resources. Those constraints led the majority to form stem families, the focus of this volume. The essays nonetheless depart from essentialist and nationalist narratives to emphasize that family formation was a dynamic process mediated by particular pressures.

The Emergence of Modern Hinduism

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ISBN: 9780520973749 9780520307056 Year: Pages: 222 DOI: 10.1525/luminos.75 Language: English
Publisher: University of California Press
Subject: Religion --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2019-09-20 11:21:03
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The Emergence of Modern Hinduism argues for the importance of regional, vernacular innovation in processes of Hindu modernization. Scholars usually trace the emergence of modern Hinduism to cosmopolitan reform movements, highlighting the centrality of elite religion and the influence of Western ideas and models. This book proposes, instead, that important projects of modernity were pursued on the colonial margins, by actors deeply embedded in tradition and deploying all its resources as the key means for change, using texts and languages not associated with centralized power or national or global discourses. It focuses on one such figure, the Tamil Shaiva poet and mystic Ramalinga Swami (1823–1874). Ramalinga emphasized the continuities of tradition, new revelation, the possibility of the miraculous, and an ethics of inclusion that challenged caste and class boundaries. His vision provided a counterpoint to reform Hinduism, yet his projects were no less modern than their cosmopolitan counterparts. By including Ramalinga, and figures like him, in historical accounts of religious modernization, we can develop new ways of thinking about modern Hinduism that more accurately reflect its diverse ways of being modern. The book thus effects a fundamental shift in the way we conceptualize the emergence of modern religion, as well as the concept of the “modern” itself, in South Asia and beyond.

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