Modernity, which emphasizes the relegation of religion firmly to an individual's private life, is a challenging idea for any culture. In India it faces a particularly unusual problem: the persistence of numerous traditional and religious practices means that religion and modernity co-habit here in a complex, plural, transient, and historically evolving relationship.
Religion and Modernity in India explores this complex relationship through a series of case studies on the quotidian experiences of people practising a variety of religions. It presents the dynamically interacting textures of society engaging with modernity in divergent ways, both historically and in contemporary times.
The essays in this collection consciously bring in the idea of inclusivity by factoring in the small and local contexts. They raise important questions about marginality and sexuality, and discuss the oral and cultural traditions of both mainstream and marginal communities such as tribal communities and women. In doing so, they put forward the perspectives of groups that represent difference but at the same time are linked to a larger whole.
Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, Professor of Asian History and Director, New Zealand India Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand., and Aloka Parasher Sen, Professor of History and Director, University of Hyderabad, Telangana, India.
Sekhar Bandyopadhyay is Professor of Asian History and Director, New Zealand India Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
Aloka Parasher Sen is Professor of History and Director, International Affairs, University of Hyderabad, Telangana, India.
Robyn Andrews, Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, B.L. Biju, Aparna Devare, Ranjeeta Dutta, Pushpesh Kumar, Aditya Malik, T.K. Oommen, Brent Howitt Otto, Alok Kumar Pandey, Aloka Parasher Sen, R. Siva Prasad, N. Sudhakar Rao, M. Ravikumar, Aparna Rayaprol, Will Sweetman.
Introduction -Sekhar Bandyopadhyay and Aloka Parasher Sen
Part I Modernity, Religion, and Secularism
Chapter One: Society, Religion, and Modernity in Postcolonial India - T.K. Oommen
Chapter Two: Possession, Alterity, Modernity - Aditya Malik
Part II Modernity, Religion, and the Communities
Chapter Three: The Dravidian Idea in Missionary Accounts of South Indian Religion - Will Sweetman
Chapter Four: Locating the Self, Community, and the Nation: Writing the History of the Srivai??avas of South India- Ranjeeta Dutta
Chapter Five: Sedentarization and the Changing Contours of Religious Identities: The Case of the Pastoral Van Gujjars of the Himalayas - Alok Kumar Pandey and R. Siva Prasad
Chapter Six: Religion, Erotic Sensibilities, and Marginality - Pushpesh Kumar
Part III Secularism, Religion, and Politics
Chapter Seven: Rethinking the 'Religious-Secular' Binary in Global Politics: M.A. Jinnah and Muslim Nationalism in South Asia - Aparna Devare
Chapter Eight: Modernity, Citizenship, and Hindu Nationalism: Hindu Mahasabha and Its 'Reorientation' Debate, 1947-52 - Sekhar Bandyopadhyay
Chapter Nine: Bipolar Coalition System in Kerala: Carriers and Gatekeepers of Communal Forces in Politics - B.L. Biju
Chapter Ten: The Ritual of Power and Power of the Ritual: An Interface between Religion and Politics - N. Sudhakar Rao and M. Ravikumar
Part IV Religious Practices of the Diaspora
Chapter Eleven: Cultural Reproduction and the Reconstruction of Identities in the Indian Diaspora - Aparna Rayaprol
Chapter Twelve: Durability and Change: Anglo-Indian Religious Practice in India and the Diaspora - Brent Howitt Otto and Robin Andrews
Notes on Editors and Contributors