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.
Table of Contents
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.