Religion and Public Memory: A Cultural History of Saint Namdev in India

Religion and Public Memory: A Cultural History of Saint Namdev in India

by Christian Lee Novetzke
     
 

Born into a low caste of tailors in thirteenth-century India, Namdev gained widespread fame for his innovative performances of devotional songs and simple affection for God. Today the figure of Saint Namdev is central to many religious traditions within Hinduism and Sikhism and is a key presence in the early religious literature of northern India, Maharashtra, and

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Overview

Born into a low caste of tailors in thirteenth-century India, Namdev gained widespread fame for his innovative performances of devotional songs and simple affection for God. Today the figure of Saint Namdev is central to many religious traditions within Hinduism and Sikhism and is a key presence in the early religious literature of northern India, Maharashtra, and Punjab in the second millennium. He appears throughout Marathi and Hindi modern public spheres, where his identity fluctuates between regional associations and a pan-Indian, nationalist-secularist character. Through the lens of memory and public performance, Christian Lee Novetzke considers Namdev's historical permutations in India over eight centuries. Drawing on ethnographies of devotional performance, archival materials, scholarly historiography, and popular media including film, he vividly illustrates how India's religious communities preserve their pasts and create new historical narratives around perennially sacred figures.

Columbia University Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231141857
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
10/25/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsPreface: The Shape of the BookAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Namdev, Bhakti, Public, and MemoryPart 1. Practices of Memory 1. A Sant Between Memory and History2. Public Performance and Corporate Authorship3. Orality and Literacy/Performance and PermanencePart 2. Publics of Memory 4. Namdev and the Namas: Anamnetic Authorship from the Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries5. Memories of Suffering in the Eighteenth Century6. A Sant for the Nation in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries7. The Idea of Namdev in Two Films in the Twentieth CenturyConclusionNotesGlossaryReferencesIndex

Columbia University Press

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