Religious Pluralism in India : Ethnographic and Philosophic Evidences, 1886-1936 book cover
1st Edition

Religious Pluralism in India
Ethnographic and Philosophic Evidences, 1886-1936

  • Available for pre-order on March 3, 2023. Item will ship after March 24, 2023
ISBN 9781032373058
March 24, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge India
220 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This volume explores the inherent pluralism of Hinduism through ethnographic and philosophical evidence as presented in the Journal of Anthropological Society of Bombay. The essays dated 1886–1936, represent a period that marked the emergence of a European-educated native intelligentsia with a rationalist outlook.

The essays cover a wide range of topics from Tree Worship in Mohenjo Daro, the origin of the Hindu Trimurti, interpretation of Avestic and Vedic Texts; to a second set of more localized papers that cover the Muhammadan Castes of Bengal, the Tenets and Practices of a Certain Class of Faqirs in Bengal, the Theoretical History of the Goddess Yellamma, and much more. Written during a particular historical as well as intellectual period that reflected certain key patterns - a period just following the Bengal Renaissance of the nineteenth century that ushered in the ideologies of a reformative Hinduism – this volume highlights how religions of all denominations have influenced each other and appear to have mingled beliefs and practices from multiple sources. It shows how tolerance and inclusiveness along with syncretism have been part of India’s religious and social history.

This book will be of interest to students and researchers of religions, history, anthropology, sociology, political science, and sociology of religion. It will also be useful to those interested in inter-religious dialogues and civil society.

Table of Contents

Introduction- Subhadra Mitra Channa and Lancy Lobo. Part I-1. Note on the Origin of the Hindu Trimurti- S. M. Edwardes. 2.The Supposed Maya Origin of the Elephocephalous Deity Ganesha- Sarat Chandra Mitra. 3.The Anthropological method of interpretation of Avestic and Vedic texts, ideas and usages – Part I- R. K. Dadachanji. 4.The Anthropological method of interpretation of Avestic and Vedic texts, ideas and usages – Part II- R.K. Dadachanji. 5. Deification of Light among Ancient Nations, Eastern and Western- S. S. Mehta. 6. The Migration of a Form of Iranian Religious Ideas to Ancient Rome and Other Countries of Europe, and the Narrow Escape of Early Christianity in its Conflict with Them for the Dominion of the World- Ruttonshaw Kershaspji Dadachanji. 7. Was there any Institution in Ancient Iran Like that of Caste in India?- Jivanji Jamshedji Modi. 8.An Ancient Egyptian Legend in Buddhist Guise- Sarat Chandra Mitra. 9.Is the Retention of the Term “Animism” as a Main Religion Head in Our Census Tables Justified?- L. J. Sedgwick. 10.  Totem Theories- R. E. Enthoven. Part II- 11.  Tree Worship in Mohenjo Daro- H. Heras. 12. Exorcism of Spirit in India and Exorcism of Physical Impurity in Persia. A Parallel with Respect to the Various Parts of the Body Treated in the Exorcism- Jivanji Jamshedji Modi. 13.  Ethnographical Notes on the Muhammadan Castes of Bengal- Maulavi Abdul Wall. 14. A Book-procession of the Tibetan Lamas, as seen at Darjeeling- Jivanji Jamshedji Modi. 15. On Superstitions of the Goa People from Portuguese Sources- E. Rehatsek. 16. A Note on the Worship of the Demon Rahu by the Dusadhs of South Bihar- Sarat Chandra Mitra. 17. On Curious Tenets and Practices of a Certain Class of Faqirs in Bengal- Maulavi Abdul Wali. 18.  A Note on the Rise of a New Hindu Sect in Bihar- Sarat Chandra Mitra. 19. A Theoretical History of the Goddess Yellamma- Rao Bahadur Rudragauda Chanvirgauda Artal. 20. The Festivities in Honour of Siva in the Month of Chaitra- Satindra Narayan Roy. 21. Short Account of the Reformed Shaiva or Veerashaiva Faith- R. C. Artal and Watandar Patil 22. Swastika- S. S. Mehta

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Subhadra Mitra Channa is retired Professor, Department of Anthropology: University of Delhi. Her research Interests are in Gender Studies, Marginalization, Identity Studies, Urban Ethnography, Environment, Cosmology, Religion and Caste Studies in India. She is the recipient of Charles Wallace Fellowship U.K; Fulbright Lecturer, U.S.A 2003and 2008-2009, Visiting Professor to Maison D’Sciences De L’Homme, Paris, Visiting Scholar, University of Kentucky, U.S.A (2015), Visiting Professor University of Bahia, Brazil ( 2019), Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology, U.S.A; President of the Indian Anthropological Association  (1997-2000); S. C Roy Gold Medal( Asiatic Society). She was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award Delhi University, 2016 as the best teacher of the university.

She is the present Senior Vice-President of (IUAES) from 2018 and Chair of the Commission on Marginalization and Global Apartheid (2017-2021. Her publications: Gender is South Asia (Cambridge University Press); Life as a Dalit (ed.) (Sage); The Inner and Outer Selves (Oxford University Press); Gender, Livelihood and Environment (ed.) with Marilyn Porter (Orient Blackswan); and Anthropological Perspectives on Indian Tribes (2019, Orient Blackswan), more than 80 scholarly papers.


Lancy Lobo holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology and a Doctoral degree in Sociology from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, India.  He has authored, co-authored 25 books, and scores of mimeographs based on research over 40 years. He has been a professor and the Director of Centre for Social Studies, based in Surat, an institute under the Indian Council of Social Science Research, Delhi. He was an International Visiting Fellow at the Woodstock Centre, Georgetown University, Washington DC in the year 1999-2000. He is the founder director of Centre for Culture and Development, Vadodara which is completing 20 years. Currently he is a research scholar at the Indian Social Institute, Delhi.   Some of his recent publications include, with Jayesh Shah (eds.), The Legacy of Nehru: Appraisal and Analysis (2018), with A.M. Shah (eds.) Essays on Suicide and Self-Immolation (2018), with Kanchan Bharati (eds.), Marriage and Divorce in India: Changing Concepts and Practices (2019), with A.M. Shah (eds.), An Ethnography of Parsees of India (2021), with A.M. Shah (eds.), Indian Anthropology (2021).