Translocal Lives and Religion

Connections between Asia and Europe in the Late Modern World

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Philippe Bornet
The Study of Religion in a Global Context
  • Sheffield, UK: 
    Equinox Publishing
    , February
     318 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Inspired by the historiographical model of "connected histories" (S. Subrahmanyam and S. Gruzinski), the volume examines the intellectual trajectories of remarkable individuals who interacted with religious discourses, doctrines or practices in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The proposed approach of "connected religion" invites to the study of cross-cultural and "translocal" encounters by bringing together documents that represent diverse sides of the story and by reconstructing a narrative from an external standpoint, with analytical potential. Testing the approach through specific cases of interactions between Asia and Europe, the volume explores the little-known stories of both actors such as migrants or expatriates interacting with religious discourses, and of religious leaders producing and propagating beliefs and practices. Without any pretension to exhaustivity, the variety of cases arouses questions that can be addressed to further contexts, such as: the significance of improved travels and communications for the diffusion of religious content across national, cultural and institutional boundaries; the impact of specific individuals, charismatic or not, well-established or subaltern in the reconfiguration of institutional forms of religion; or the role of the South Asian referent in legitimating the propagation of specific religious views.

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

Philippe Bornet is senior lecturer in South Asian studies at the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. After stays in Tübingen and at the University of Chicago, he completed a PhD in the comparative history of religions on rituals of hospitality in Jewish and Indian texts. His current research deals with interactions between India and Europe and more specifically, Swiss missionaries in South India in the beginning of the 20th century. Recent publications include Rites et pratiques de l’hospitalité, 2010, Religions in Play, 2012 (ed. with M. Burger) and L’orientalisme des marges (ed. with S. Gorshenina), 2014.


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