This book explores religion in various spatial constellations in South Asian cities, including religious centres such as Varanasi, Madurai and Nanded, and cities not readily associated with religion, such as Mumbai and Delhi.
Contributors from different disciplines discuss a large variety of urban spaces: physical and imagined, institutional and residential, built and landscaped, virtual and mediatised, historical and contemporary. In doing so, the book addresses a wide range of issues concerning the role of religion in the dynamic interplay of factors which characterise complex urban social spaces. Chapters incorporate varying degrees and forms of the religious/spiritual, ranging from invisible and incorporeal to material and explicit, embedded in and expressed as spatial politics, works of fiction, mission, pilgrimage, festivals and everyday life. Topics examined include conflictual situations involving places of worship in Delhi, inclusive religious practices in Kanpur, American Protestant mission in Madurai, the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday in Lahore, gardens as imaginative spaces, the politics of religion in Varanasi and many others.
Illustrating and analysing ways and forms in which religion persists in South Asian urban contexts, this book will be of interest to researchers and students in the fields of cultural studies, the study of religions, urban studies and South Asian studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Spaces of religion in urban South Asia
2. Defining the postcolonial sacred: contested places of worship and urban planning in Delhi after Partition, 1947-1951
3. Inclusivism and its contingencies: following temple-goers in Kanpur
4. Conversionary Christian place-making in nineteenth-century Madurai
5. Sikh pilgrimage sites in the city of Nanded in Maharashtra
KNUT A. JACOBSEN
6. The production of Muslim space: mohalla life and Milad celebrations in Lahore
AMEN JAFFER and HAJRA CHEEMA
7. The boundary within: demolitions, dream projects and the negotiation of Hinduness in Banaras
8 Mantras of the metropole: Chetan Bhagat’s millennial Hinduism
9. Kali and the Queen: religion and the production of Calcutta’s pasts and presents
10. Timelines and lifelines: landscape practices and religious refabulations from South Asia
11. Land-grabbing deities: the politics of public space in a multi-religious neighbourhood
12. Making the "Smart Heritage City:" banal Hinduism, beautification and belonging in "new India"
13. Hindutva 2.0 as advertised monotheism
14. Purpose built: Islamabad, the Cold War, and non-Muslim Minorities in Pakistan
15. "We stand, but we do not pray:" religious plurality in a Mumbai chawl
István Keul is Professor in the Study of Religions at the University of Bergen, Norway. His areas of research include various aspects of the history and sociology of South Asian religions. He is the author of a monograph on the Hindu deity Hanuman and has edited volumes on tantra, Yoginis, Banaras and consecration rituals.