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Charisma and Canon: Essays on the Religious History of the Indian Subcontinent

Vasudha Dalmia (Editor)
Synopsis In the nation states of South Asia, religion continues to play a central role in public life, and religious movements of various hues and vintage continue to offer vital sources of personal and collective identity. Recent academic discussions have tended to concern themselves with contemporary fundamentalist trends which have come to dominate politics, though there have also been readings against the grain, investigating the plurality of traditions that have existed and proliferated on the subcontinent. However, little attempt has been made to explore how such contradictory trends and pulls have coexisted and interacted with each other through the ages. This volume analyses these pluralities while also examining the homogeneities being forged. The attempt is to explore the relationship between the foundation of a new religious community, the formation of canons, and the various devices which made it possible for these religious traditions to stake their authority. The essays in this volume offer vivid glimpses of the interdependence and interaction which formed a vital component of the religious history of the subcontinent, of the selections made by specific traditions from the same storehouse of key texts, of their overlapping but also sharp demarcations from each other.
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About the author

Vasudha Dalmia

Vasudha Dalmia is Professor of Hindi and Chair of the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California at Berkeley. She has researched and published widely on Hinduism, colonial and post-colonial Hindi literature, medieval Indian religiosity, and modern Indian theatre. Her book, The Nationalization of Hindu Traditions: Bharatendu Harischandra and Nineteenth Century Banaras, examines the life and writings of a major Hindi writer of the nineteenth century as the focal point for an examination of the intricate links between politics, language, culture, religion and nationality.

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Bibliographic information

Title Charisma and Canon: Essays on the Religious History of the Indian Subcontinent
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195654536
length x+461p., 23cm.
Subjects History