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Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South India

Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South India

by Elaine M. Fisher

Paperback(First Edition)

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In Hindu Pluralism, Elaine M. Fisher complicates the traditional scholarly narrative of the unification of Hinduism. By calling into question the colonial categories implicit in the term “sectarianism,” Fisher’s work excavates the pluralistic textures of precolonial Hinduism in the centuries prior to British intervention. Drawing on previously unpublished sources in Sanskrit, Tamil, and Telugu, Fisher argues that the performance of plural religious identities in public space in Indian early modernity paved the way for the emergence of a distinctively non-Western form of religious pluralism. This work provides a critical resource for understanding how Hinduism developed in the early modern period, a crucial era that set the tenor for religion's role in public life in India through the present day.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520293014
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 02/24/2017
Series: South Asia Across the Disciplines
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 300
Sales rank: 1,186,275
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Elaine M. Fisher is a Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Mysore. Starting in the fall of 2017 she will be Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University.

Table of Contents


1. Hindu Sectarianism: Difference in Unity
2. “Just Like Kalidasa”: The Making of the Smarta-Saiva Community of South India
3. Public Philology: Constructing Sectarian Identities in Early Modern South India
4. The Language Games of Siva: Mapping Text and Space in Public Religious Culture
Conclusion: A Prehistory of Hindu Pluralism


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