New Books Network

Arik Moran, “Kingship and Polity on the Himalayan Borderland” (Amsterdam UP, 2019)
What role did women play in securing power in colonial Himalayan kingdoms? Kingship and Polity on the Himalayan Borderland (Amsterdam University Press, 2019) specifically documents the key roles played by women – especially queen regents – in the modern transformation of state and society in the Indian Himalaya kingdoms. Arik... Read More
William Elison, “The Neighborhood of Gods: The Sacred and the Visible at the Margins of Mumbai” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
William Elison‘s The Neighborhood of Gods: The Sacred and the Visible at the Margins of Mumbai (University of Chicago Press, 2018) explores how slum residents, tribal people, and members of other marginalized groups use religious icons to mark urban spaces in Mumbai. Interestingly, not all of Elison’s interview subjects identify... Read More
Ithamar Theodor, “Exploring the Bhagavad Gītā: Philosophy, Structure and Meaning” (Routledge, 2016)
The Bhagavad Gītā remains to this day a mainstay of Hinduism and Hindu Studies alike, despite the profusion of books written on it over the centuries. While the Gītā’s profundity is evident, its meaning most certainly is not. Is there a unity within the Bhagavad Gītā? Ithamar Theodor’s Exploring the... Read More
Harshita M. Kamath, “The Artifice of Brahmin Masculinity in South Indian Dance” (U California Press, 2019)
Harshita M. Kamath‘s new book The Artifice of Brahmin Masculinity in South Indian Dance (University of California Press, 2019) features an investigation of men donning a women’s guises to impersonate female characters – most notably Satyabhāmā, the wife of the Hindu deity Krishna –within the insular Brahmin community of the... Read More
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz, “Reciting the Goddess: Narratives of Place and the Making of Hinduism in Nepal” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz‘s Reciting the Goddess: Narratives of Place and the Making of Hinduism in Nepal (Oxford University, 2018) represents the very first study of a fascinating Hindu phenomenon: the Svasthanivratakatha (SVK), a sixteenth-century narrative textual tradition native to Nepal surrounding the Goddess, Svasthānī. This work explores Himalayan Hindu religious... Read More
John Stratton Hawley, “Bhakti and Power: Debating India’s Religion of the Heart” (U Washington Press, 2019)
What is the relationship between religion and power? With this important overarching theme in mind, Bhakti and Power: Debating India’s Religion of the Heart (University of Washington Press, 2019), edited by John Stratton Hawley, Christian Lee Novetzke and Swapna Sharma, combines 17 fascinating studies which explore the ways in which bhakti – “India’s... Read More
Marko Geslani, “Rites of the God-King: Śānti and Ritual Change in Early Hinduism” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Is “Vedic” fire sacrifice at odds with “Hindu” image worship? Through a careful study of ritual (śanti) texts geared towards appeasement of inauspicious forces (primarily the Atharva Veda and in the Bṛhatsaṃhitā, an Indian astrological work), Marko Geslani demonstrates the persistent significance and centrality of the work of Brahmanical priesthood... Read More