Clemens Cavallin, Sudha Sitharaman, and Åke SanderNov 3, 2021
The Future of Religious Studies in India
Clemens Cavallin, Sudha Sitharaman and Åke Sander's The Future of Religious Studies in India (Routledge, 2020) looks at how religious studies is framed and taught in India. It addresses the contradiction between the country’s vibrant religious life and the dearth of comparative and social scientific religious studies programs across Indian universities.
The book is divided into three sections with six chapters. The first section discusses the notion of religion, spirituality, and religious studies. The second section discusses the study of religion in India, delving into the contribution of Indian thinkers along with the different education policies. This section also deliberates on the failure of the ‘secularization thesis’ in modern India and the emergence of Indian middle-class religion. The third section provides elaborate and concrete suggestions on how to develop religious studies in relation to global citizenship and Indian cultural heritage with the hope of initiating a more extensive discussion.
The academic study of religion in Indian universities is dispersed in different fields of study in the form of introductory-level papers without an interdisciplinary and in-depth study on it. Consequently, this book will be indispensable to students and researchers in Indian universities working on religion to begin thinking about religious studies and form a network of scholars to consider religious studies departments.
Tiatemsu Longkumer is a Ph.D. scholar working on ‘Anthropology of Religion’ at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong: India