236 pages | 6 B/W Illus.
Modern Hindu Traditionalism addresses Hindu traditions that resisted contact with both Neo-Hindu thought and views of “classical” Hinduism perceived to be outmoded.
This book provides an in-depth understanding of Modern Hindu Traditionalism through the case study of the Rāmānandī order (sampradāya) and the portrait of the Jagadguru Rāmānandācārya Rāmnareśācārya. This guru belongs to the ancient tradition of the Rāmānandī order, which is active at the present time and the biggest Vaiṣṇava religious order in Northern India. Analyzing the historical evolution of the Rāmānandī order, the author shows how different centers have undergone different changes over the centuries, and focuses on the independence struggle of a group of Rāmānandīs from the Rāmānūjīs, which led to the creation of the role of Jagadguru Rāmānandācārya and the construction of the Śrī Maṭh. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, this book casts light on figures and processes central to the development of Hinduism in the twentieth and twenty-first century and consequently describes the role of religion in contemporary Indian society. The author examines the role religious institutions and their leaders have in the everyday life of individuals, how they interact with and in the society, and how they approach and interpret social and political issues. The Rāmānandīs’ use of new methods of communication, in particular social media, is an innovative part of the study.
A welcome innovation in the studies of South Asian religion, this book will be of interest to historians, anthropologists, and scholars of Hinduism and religion and politics.
1. On Rāmānanda: his life, teachings, and disciples
2. The historical evolution of the Rāmānandī sampradāya
3. Changes in the twentieth century
4. The Śrī Maṭh
5. The Jagadguru Rāmānandācārya Rāmnareśācārya
This series, in association with the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, intends primarily the publication of constructive Hindu theological, philosophical and ethical projects aimed at bringing Hindu traditions into dialogue with contemporary trends in scholarship and contemporary society. The series invites original, high quality, research level work on religion, culture and society of Hindus living in India and abroad. Proposals for annotated translations of important primary sources and studies in the history of the Hindu religious traditions will also be considered.