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Logic in a Popular Form: Essays on Popular Religion in Bengal

Sumanta Banerjee (Foroward)
Synopsis Taking its title from Karl Marx's description of religion as 'the general theory of this world...[and] its logic in a popular form', this volume of essays explores the hidden logic behind the popular construction of certain myths, beliefs about godlings and spirits, and cross-religious cults, viewing them as popular inventions attempting to make sense of human existence in the face of an overwhelming and often hostile environment. These religious manifestations of popular logic-ranging from Kali to Radha-Krishna to Satyapir to Tantrik practice-are fluid, ever-changing, and always innovative. They represent an alternative stream running parallel to, and often challenging, the more strictly structured beliefs and practices of the Indian religious establishments, whether Hindu, Islamic or Christian. The essays in the present collection are an attempt to rediscover some of the important aspects of this multi-faceted phenomenon of popular religion in the context of nineteenth-century Bengal, including tracing the impact of urbanization, colonialism, and nationalism. They also try to re-examine the relevance of some of the beliefs and rituals that have flowed down from that past and continue to survive in Bengali society today.
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About the author

Sumanta Banerjee

Sumanta Banerjee, born in 1936 and educated in Calcutta, was formerly with The Statesman newspapers. He is best known for his The Simmering Revolution: The Naxalite Uprising and The Thema Books of Naxalite Poetry, two seminal texts on the Naxalite Revolt. His milestone study, The Parlour and the Streets: Elite and Popular Culture in Nineteenth Century Calcutta was published by Seagull in 1989. He is at present based in New Delhi, doing research on the popular culture and religion of Bengal.

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Bibliographic information

Title Logic in a Popular Form: Essays on Popular Religion in Bengal
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170461626
length viii+233p.viii+233p., Index; 25cm.