This book looks at how religious studies is framed and taught in India. It addresses the contradiction between the country’s vibrant religious life and the dearth of comparative and social scientific religious studies programs across Indian universities.
• Studies the efforts by Rabindranath Tagore in Santiniketan and Mohan Malaviya in Varanasi, to introduce and institutionalize religious studies in India;
• Discusses the notions of religion and spirituality and situates the failure of the ‘secularization thesis’ in the context of modern India;
• Provides concrete suggestions on how to develop religious studies in relation to global citizenship and Indian cultural heritage with the hope of initiating a larger discussion.
A unique contribution to the study of religion in society and education, the book will be indispensable to students and researchers of theology, history, philosophy, sociology, secularization, globalization, religious studies, education studies, and South Asian studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part I. Religion, Spirituality, and Religious Studies 1. On Our Understanding of Religion 2. Religious Studies Part II. India and the Study of Religion 3. The Birth of India and the Study of Religion 4. Social Science and the Study of Religion 5. Post-secular India Part III. A Way Forward for Religious Studies in India 6. Different Models for the Development of Religious Studies in India
Clemens Cavallin is Associate Professor of Religion, Philosophies of Life and Ethics at Nord University, Norway and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. His recent publications include a book on ritual theory, namely, Ritualization and Human Interiority (2013), and On the Edge of Infinity (2017), a biography of the Canadian novelist and painter Michael D. O’Brien. Together with Åke Sander, he managed go:India, a cooperation program between the university of Gothenburg and several Indian universities (2011–2013).
Åke Sander is Professor Emeritus in psychology and sociology of religion at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. His research has focused on understanding the phenomena of religion and religiosity and their influence on people’s ways of experiencing, thinking, feeling, and acting. Since the early 1970s, he has spent several years in South Asia studying Indian society and Indic religious and cultural traditions. In addition to empirically oriented research, he has an interest in the theoretically oriented study of the workings and potentialities of the human mind (especially in relation to so-called alternative states of mind), the phenomenology of religion (with focuses on religious experience, religious consciousness, and mysticism). He has also worked on the nature of religious change in the late-modern globalized world and challenges arising in communication between persons with different cultures, religions, and patterns of interpretation. Together with Clemens Cavallin, he managed go:India, a cooperation program between the university of Gothenburg and several Indian universities (2011–2013). He has published several books and over 100 papers.
Sudha Sitharaman is Professor of Sociology at Pondicherry University, India. Her PhD (2004) from the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, India (awarded by Osmania University, Hyderabad, India) titled Society and Religious Consciousness: Veerashaiva Movement in the Medieval Times was awarded the M. N. Srinivas Award for Outstanding thesis in Sociology. Her postdoctoral work Beyond Contestation and Legitimation: Aspects of Religion, Religious Identity and Religiosity at the Bababudhan Dargah in Karnataka was also within the sociology of religion and was supported by Indian Council for Social Science Research. She has for several years developed the sociology of religion within the department of sociology at Pondicherry University.