Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South Asia
University of California Press 2017
New Books in Hindu StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books in South Asian StudiesNew Books Network May 21, 2018 Raj Balkaran
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 argues for a uniquely South Asian form of religious pluralism, evidenced by religious performances in the public space. Her work is crucial for considering the development of Hinduism in the early modern era, and that era’s legacy on modern constructions of Hinduism, calling into question the colonial categories implicit in the term ‘sectarianism’.