1st Edition

South Asian Religions on Display Religious Processions in South Asia and in the Diaspora

Edited By Knut A. Jacobsen Copyright 2008
    236 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Religious procession is a significant dimension of religion in South Asia. Processions are central not only in Hinduism, but also Islam, Christianity, Jainism and Sikhism, which have large procession rituals. The last years have seen an increase in processions and ritualizations of space both in South Asia and in the South Asian Diaspora.

    Processions are religious display events and the increase in processions are functions of religious pluralism and competition about public space as well as economic prosperity and a revival of religious identities. Processions often bring together religion and politics since they are about public space, domination and contestation.

    Written by leading specialists on religious processions and ritualization of public space in South Asia and in the Diaspora, this volume presents current research on the interpretations of the role of processions, the recent increase in processions and changes in the procession traditions.

    South Asian Religions on Display will appeal to students and scholars of Asian studies, anthropology, religion and political science.

    Introduction: Religion on Display Knut A. Jacobsen  Part 1: Processions in South Asia  1. The Re-Invention of Tamil Funeral Processions Isabelle Clark-Deces  2. Getting in Line: The Kumbha Mela Festival Processions James Lochtefeld  3. Mapping the Management of Threatening Gods and Social Conflict: A Territorial Approach to Processions in a South Indian Village (Tamil Nadu) Pierre-Yves Trouillet  4. Space, Sound, Auspiciousness, and Performance in North Indian Wedding Processions Gregory D. Booth  5. Public Display, Communal Devotion: Procession at a South Indian Catholic Festival Selva J. Raj  6. The Virgin and her 'Relations': Reflections on Processions at a Catholic Shrine in Southern India Matthias Frenz  7. ‘Yeh Matam Kayse Ruk Jae’ (How Could this Matam Ever Cease): Muharram Processions in Pakistani Punjab Mariam Abou Zahab  8. A Note on the Modernization of Muharram Stig Toft Madsen and Muhammad Hassan  9. Muharram Processions and the Ethisation of Hero Cults in the Pre-Modern Deccan Hugh van Skyhawk  10. Personalizing the Sikh Scripture: Processions of the Guru Granth Sahib in India Kristina Myrvold  Part 2: Processions in the South Asian Diaspora  11. Gods on the Move: Chariot Processions in Urban Singapore Vineeta Sinha  12. Parading Hindu Gods in Public: New Festival Traditions of Tamil Hindus in Germany Brigitte Luchesi  13. Processions, Public Space and Sacred Space in the South Asian Diaspora in Norway Knut A Jacobsen  14. Rathayatra of the Hare Krishnas in Durban: Inventing Strategies to Transmit Religious Ideas in Modern Society P. Pratap Kumar.  ‘Conclusion and Future Prospects’ Knut A. Jacobsen


    Knut A. Jacobsen is Professor in the Department of the History of Religions at the University of Bergen, Norway. His fields of expertise include Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism in India, and religious pluralism in South Asia and in the South Asian diaporas. He is the author or editor of 12 books.

    'South Asian Religions on Display gives an excellent overview of the research done on religious processions in the South Asian cultural sphere. This edited volume is worth reading for anyone interested in the role of religion both in South Asia and among people of South Asian origin elsewhere. South Asian Religions on Display is particularly rewarding for those who are preoccupied not only with South Asian religious traditions but also with social developments in the area, and generally for those who concerned with the relationships between politics, migration and religion. This important book signals the beginning of a more balanced approach to the study of religious processions.' – Minna Säävälä, University of Helsinki, Finland