Religion and Modernity in India

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Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, Aloka Parasher Sen
  • Oxford, U.K.: 
    Oxford University Press
    , March
     336 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Irfan Ahmad forthcoming.


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 practicing 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.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Sekhar Bandyopadhyay is professor of Asian history and director at the New Zealand India Research Institute at Victoria University of Wellington.

Aloka Parasher Sen is professor of history and director of international affairs at the University of Hyderabad.

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