1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of South Asian Religions

Edited By Knut A. Jacobsen Copyright 2021
    470 Pages
    by Routledge

    470 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of South Asian Religions presents critical research, overviews, and case studies on religion in historical South Asia, in the seven nation states of contemporary South Asia: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, and in the South Asian diaspora.

    Chapters by an international set of experts analyse formative developments, roots, changes and transformations, religious practices and ideas, identities, relations, territorialisation, and globalisation in historical and contemporary South Asia. The Handbook is divided into two parts which first analyse historical South Asian religions and their developments and second contemporary South Asia religions that are influenced by both religious pluralism and their close connection to nation states and their ideological power. Contributors argue that religion has been used as a tool for creating nations as well as majorities within those nations in South Asia, despite their enormous diversity, in particular religious diversity. The Handbook explores these diversities and tensions, historical developments, and the present situation across religious traditions by utilising an array of approaches and from the point of view of various academic disciplines.

    Drawing together a remarkable collection of leading and emerging scholars, this handbook is an invaluable research tool and will be of interest to researchers and students in the fields of Asian religion, religion in context, and South Asian religions.

    Historical and Contemporary South Asian Religions

    Knut A. Jacobsen

    Part I Historical South Asian Religions: Formative developments

    1 The Veda

    Carlos A. Lopez

    2 The rise of Classical Brahmanism

    Johannes Bronkhorst

    3 Identity in Early Indian Religion

    Nathan McGovern

    4 Dharma in Classical Hinduism

    David Brick and Donald R. Davis, Jr.

    5 Reason, Dharma, and the discovery of Faith: Insights from the Modes of Classical Hinduism

    Sthaneshwar Timalsina

    6 From Yajña to Pūjā?

    Marko Geslani

    7 Early Pilgrimage Traditions in South Asia

    Knut A. Jacobsen

    8 Sri Lanka's Place in the History of South Asian Buddhism

    Justin Henry

    9 The Place of Historical Nepal in the History of South Asian Religions

    Axel Michaels

    10 The Rise of Vaiṣṇava Devotion in North India: On the Origins of a Mughal Bhakti Sensibility

    Patton E. Burchett

    11 Nāth Saṃpradāya and the Formation of Haṭha Yoga Practices in India

    Adrián Muñoz

    12 Aurangzeb and Islam in India: 50 Years of Mughal Realpolitik

    Tilmann Kulke

    13 The Territorialisation of Sikh Pasts

    Anne Murphy

    Part II Contemporary South Asian Religions: Religious pluralism

    14 Dalits and religion: Anti-caste Movements in India

    Debi Chatterjee

    15 The Betwixt and Between Religious Imaginary of Lāldās: Neither Here nor There

    Mukesh Kumar

    16 Conversion and Christian Relations with Non-Christians in South Asia

    Chad M. Bauman

    17 Science Sanskritised: How Modern Science Became a Handmaiden of Hindu Nationalism.

    Meera Nanda

    18 Religion and Society in Pakistan: From Pīr’s Domination to Individual Connected Piety

    Michel Boivin

    19 Religion and Society in Bangladesh: Unpacking the Multilayered Relationships

    Ali Riaz

    20 Religion and Society in Sri Lanka

    Peter Schalk

    21 Religion and Secularism in Contemporary Nepal

    David N. Gellner and Chiara Letizia

    22 The Transformation of Female Monastic Education in Contemporary Bhutan: If You Build Them, They Will Come

    Dorji Gyeltshen and Manuel Lopez

    23 Regressing for Progress: Maldives Embraces a Salafi Future

    Azra Naseem

    24 Festivals in South Asia: Celebrations of Local Communities

    Ute Hüsken

    25 Indian Religions in the U.S.

    Prema Kurien

    26 The Global Manifestation of the Hindu Guru Phenomenon

    Amanda Lucia


    Knut A. Jacobsen is Professor of Religion at the University of Bergen, Norway. His most recent book published by Routledge is Yoga in Modern Hinduism (2018) and the co-edited book Religion and Technology in India (2018), and he is the editor of the Routledge Handbook of Contemporary India (2016).