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New Books in Hindu Studies

Marshall Poe

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access_time17 days ago
Dr. Philip Lutgendorf is Retired Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies at the University of Iowa. He is currently working on a seven-volume translation of the Hindi devotional text, the Rāmcaritmānas written by the sixteenth-century North Indian poet, Tulsīdās. The first four volumes of the translation, entitled The Epic
access_time19 days ago
Anand Taneja’s Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi (Stanford University Press, 2017) is a landmark publication that interrogates modes of religious practice and imaginaries of time that disrupt dominant claims and narratives of the post-colonial state about religion and religious identity. Centered on the ruins
access_time3 months ago
In Hinduism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation (Routledge, 2018), Shyam Ranganathan argues that a careful philosophical study reveals telling philosophical disagreements across topics such as: ethics, logic, epistemology, moral standing, metaphysics, and politics. His analysis offers an innovative stance on the very study of Hinduism, and tensions between scholars and practitioners of...
access_time3 months ago
The Bhagavad Gita is one of the foundational texts of Hinduism and probably the one most familiar and popular in the West. The moral problem that motivates the text – is it right to kill members of one’s extended family if they are on the other side in a war?...
access_time4 months ago
What role, if any, do mythological texts play in philosophical discourse?  While modern Hindu Studies scholars are becoming increasingly attuned to the extent to which Indian narratives encode ideology, Sucharita Adluri’s Textual Authority in Classical Indian Thought: Ramanuja and the Vishnu Purana (Routledge, 2014) explores the extent to which the great medieval Hindu...
access_time5 months ago
Dr. Lavanya Vemsani is Distinguished Professor of India History and Religions at Shawnee University and the editor of the new volume entitled Modern Hinduism in Text and Context (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018).  The essays in this volume look at a variety of topics ranging from Shaivite religious texts to biographies, novels,...
access_time6 months ago
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...
access_time7 months ago
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 were most intimately working with language, were at the center...
access_time1 year ago
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 are part of the reason why the Indian Guru, Bhagwan...
access_time1 year ago
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 it understood by his American audience? How did it relate...
access_time1 year ago
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 this classic of Hindi cinema? William Elison, Assistant Professor at...
access_time2 years ago
The so called “Pariah Problem” emerged in public consciousness in the 1890s in India as state officials, missionaries and “upper”caste landlords, among others, struggled to understood the situation of Dalits (those subordinated populations once called untouchables). In The Pariah Problem: Caste, Religion, and the Social in Modern India (Columbia University...
access_time2 years ago
Roman Sieler’s

 Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Medicine and Martial Arts in South India (Oxford University Press, 2015) is a fine-grained ethnographic study of varmakkalai–the art of vital spots, a South Indian practice that encompasses both martial and medical activities. The interview explores how varmakkalai relates to the wider field of...
access_time2 years ago
Arie L. Molendijk is Professor of the History of Christianity and Philosophy in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He has written Friedrich Max Muller and the Sacred Books of the East (Oxford University Press, 2016) to study how this seminal series...
access_time3 years ago
Sangay Mishra is the author of Desis Divided: The Political Lives of South Asian Americans (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Mishra is an assistant professor of political science at Drew University. While the number of South Asian Americans living in the U.S. has been growing rapidly over the last several...
access_time3 years ago
Waiting several hours in line for a hug is well worth it for thousands of people, the devotees of the Guru, Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi. In Reflections of Amma: Devotees in a Global Embrace (University of California Press, 2014), Amanda Lucia, Associate Professor of Religion at UC Riverside, provides a rich...
access_time3 years ago
New Subaltern Politics: Reconceptualizing Hegemony and Resistance in Contemporary India (Oxford University Press, 2015), edited by Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Srila Roy, is a wonderfully rich and theoretically coherent collection of texts that critically assess the legacies of Subaltern Studies through research into political movements in India today. The case...
access_time3 years ago
Joyce B. Flueckiger‘s new bookWhen the World Becomes Female: Guises of a South Indian Goddess (Indiana University Press, 2013) is a rich and colorful analysis of the goddess Gangamma’s festival and her devotees. During the festival men take on female guises, whilst women intensify the rituals that they perform throughout...
access_time4 years ago
Is yoga religious? This question has not only been asked recently by the broader public but also posed in the courts. Many argue that of course it is. The story of yoga in the popular imagination is often narrated as an ancient wisdom tradition that informs contemporary postural movements which...
access_time4 years ago
When did religion begin in South Asia? Many would argue that it was not until the colonial encounter that South Asians began to understand themselves as religious. In Religion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India (Oxford University Press, 2012), Peter Gottschalk, Professor of Religion at Wesleyan...
access_time4 years ago
Dalits and Adivasis in India’s Business Economy: Three Essays and an Atlas (Three Essay Collective, 2013) is a wonderful new book by Barbara Harriss-White and small team of collaborators – Elisabetta Basile, Anita Dixit, Pinaki Joddar, Aseem Prakash and Kaushal Vidyarthee – published by the Three Essays Collective. The book...
access_time5 years ago
If you’re going to teach a broadly themed survey course, you’ll probably need to assign some readings. One option is to assemble one of those photocopied course readers, full of excerpts taken from different sources. However, what you gain in flexibility may be sacrificed in coherence of presentation. A textbook...
access_time7 years ago
What is the relationship between religion, secularization, and education? Parna Sengupta, Associate Director of Introductory Studies at Stanford University, explores their connections as she reexamines the categories religion, empire, and modernity. In her new book, Pedagogy for Religion: Missionary Education and the Fashioning of Hindus and Muslims in Bengal (University...
access_time7 years ago
Bombay (Mumbai), India, is a city that has never lacked chroniclers from Rudyard Kipling to Salman Rushdie to Suketu Mehta, bards of pluralism have written about Bombay’s divers religions and peoples and the interactions between them. Now here comes a fantastic new book on the much touted ‘cosmopolitan culture,’ as...