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The Construction of Religious Boundaries : Culture, Identity, and Diversity in the Sikh Tradition (Hardcover)

Author: Oberoi, Harjot

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Product Overview

In this major reinterpretation of religion and society in India, Oberoi challenges earlier accounts of Sikhism, Hinduism, and Islam as historically given categories encompassing well-demarcated units of religious identity. Through an examination of Sikh historical materials, he shows that early Sikhism recognized multiple identities based in local, regional, religious, and secular loyalties. As a result, religious identities were highly blurred and competing definitions of Sikhism were possible. In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, however, the Singh Sabha, a powerful new Sikh movement, began to view the multiplicity in Sikh identity with suspicion and hostility. Aided by cultural forces unleashed by the British Raj, the Singh Sabha sought to recast Sikh tradition and purge it of diversity, bringing about the highly codified culture of modern Sikhism. A study of the process by which a pluralistic religious world view is replaced by a monolithic one, this book questions basic assumptions about the efficacy of fundamentalist claims and the construction of all social and religious identities.


Publisher Univ of Chicago Pr
Mfg Part# 9780226615929
SKU 210206033
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0226615928
Release Date 8/13/2012
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