Elaine Fisher, “Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South Asia” (U California Press, 2017)
Elaine Fisher’s Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South Asia (University of California Press, 2017) sheds light on the variegated, pluralistic texture of Hinduism in precolonial times. Drawing on Sanskrit, Telugu, and Tamil sources, Fisher… Read More
Walter N. Hakala, “Negotiating Languages: Urdu, Hindi, and the Definition of Modern South Asia” (Columbia UP, 2016)
For many people language is a central characteristic of their social identity. In modern South Asia, the production of Urdu and Hindi as national languages was intricately tied to the hardening of religious identities. South Asian lexicographers, those folks who… Read More
Hugh Urban, “Zorba the Buddha: Sex, Spirituality, and Capitalism in the Global Osho Movement” (U. Cal Press, 2016)
Many contemporary spiritual movements are characterized by denial of material pleasures, subjugation of the self, and focus on transcendence. A spiritual program that cultivates embodied satisfaction is often seen as inauthentic and fraudulent. These public understandings of new religious movements… Read More
Michael J. Altman, “Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893” (Oxford UP, 2017)
Scholars regularly assert that at Chicago’s World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893 Swami Vivekananda initiated Hinduism in America. Many histories of Hinduism in America reproduce this type of synthesizing narrative. But how was Hinduism defined by Vivekananda and how was… Read More
William Elison, et.al. “Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation” (Harvard UP, 2016)
Amar Akbar Anthony is a film like no other. When you see it you cannot forget it. Filled with music, comedy, drama, and love it captures audiences in multiple ways. But what can we learn from a deeper look at… Read More
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