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Journal Cover   Religions of South Asia
  [7 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 17512689 - ISSN (Online) 1751-2697
   Published by Equinox Publishing Homepage  [30 journals]
  • Peace by Peaceful Means? A Preliminary Examination of Buddhist
           Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Nepal
    • Authors: Anna King
      Abstract: This article reflects the growing interest of governments, international development, peace and interfaith organizations, and academics in the link between religions and conflict, and in the fact that religion often serves as a vehicle and language for protest and conflict. It is often deeply implicated in national, ethnic, cultural, and/or geopolitical considerations. The article also reflects the fact that religious studies as a discipline is increasingly required to demonstrate public relevance and impact in debates concerning the role of religion in conflict and conflict transformation. It grows out of a research project which explores the potentially constructive role of religions in active peacebuilding, postconflict reconciliation and restorative justice while acknowledging that there are multiple interpretations of religious traditions that can relate to militancy, chauvinism and nationalist ideologies. The project is focused on post-conflict Nepal, and works horizontally and vertically with grassroots and local organizations as well as with transnational institutions and international bodies. This article is a preliminary contextualization of one strand of the project, Buddhist contributions to the peace-building and post-conflict recovery. It draws a broad picture of the ways in which Buddhism has been constructed politically as a universalist culture of peace, but is also associated with competing ethnic identities and ‘nationalities’. It considers how far Buddhist organizations, communities and leaders have been able to engage with the immediate causes of the civil war (1996–2006), and the deep structural issues, inequalities and injustices which drive grievance and violence.
      PubDate: 2015-09-11
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2015)
  • Brahmanic Codes and Sanskrit Vocabulary in the Political Language of
           Islamic Preaching in Contemporary India
    • Authors: Ronie Parciack
      Abstract: This article addresses the permeation of Brahmanic codes and Sanskrit vocabulary into popular Islamic preaching (da’wah), addressing the affinity of Indian Muslims to the contemporary Indian nation-state. Although the discourse of nationalism is customarily associated with secularization, and modern India is constitutionally defined as a secular democracy, the ideology of Hindutva (Hindu Nationhood) formed a unique discourse of nationalism that became dominant with the powerful rise of the Hindu Right as of the 1980s. Stated succinctly, Hindutva ideology establishes Indian nationalism on religious Hindu grounds, from which non-Hindus are structurally excluded. Nevertheless, Indian Muslim communities are actively seeking doctrinal paths to politically participate in the Indian polity and social space. This article addresses the contemporary field of popular Islamic preaching as a powerful arena for the rewriting of Islamic narratives and providing a re-signification of the Islamic presence in India via the presumably inaccessible Brahmanic route.
      PubDate: 2015-09-11
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2015)
  • What Does Bamiyan Tell Us about Muslim Attitudes to Buddhism?
           Unpacking ‘Buddhist- Muslim Conflicts’ in Contemporary Asia
    • Authors: Kieko Obuse
      Abstract: The article highlights through a case study of the Taliban’s destruction of the Buddha statues of Bamiyan in 2001, that there has been considerable diversity in Muslim attitudes towards Buddhism and Buddha statues, reflecting the variety of political and socio-economic contexts in which they were expressed. It argues that the Taliban’s destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan cannot be attributed exclusively to theological issues but also reflects political agenda regarding economic concerns.
      PubDate: 2015-09-11
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2015)
  • Civility and Politicized Love in Gandhi
    • Authors: Tony Milligan
      Abstract: Gandhi presents a discourse of politicized love which draws heavily from a Christian conception of agape but which does not reduce to the latter. Such love is politicized through a requirement that the best kind of dissenting agents, satyagrahees (the agents called upon to engage in civil disobedience and noncooperation) are also called upon to love their enemies or, if they have none of the latter, at least their opponents. In his most famous political tract, Hind Swaraj (1909), Gandhi equates their struggle, satyagraha, with a politicized ‘love-force’, although this is not quite a definition, given that he also equates satyagraha with many other things. Moreover, there is also an occasional doubling of Gandhi’s account of political agency. Alongside the requirement for love, a requirement which is simultaneously political and spiritual, there is (again occasionally) a more minimal conception of civility from which, I will suggest, a plausible contemporary approach to civil disobedience may be constructed. The contemporary relevance of such a civility based account will then be shown through its application to the phenomenon of self-immolation, which Gandhi did not comment upon in detail but which his attitude towards civility can help us to understand. The point of this inclusion is to show that Gandhi’s approach towards civility extends effectively into new contexts.
      PubDate: 2015-09-11
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2015)
  • Editorial
    • Authors: Simon Brodbeck, Dermot Killingly, Anna King
      PubDate: 2015-09-11
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2015)
  • Prison Letter Writing as Theology of Presence: German and Indian
    • Authors: Trey Palmisano
      Abstract: This article attempts to identify a meaningful theology through the medium of prison letter writing. While the majority of prison letters coming out of British colonial India and Nazi Germany have been cherished for their historical value, it is argued that the vitality of the letter rests in a reception narrative that moves beyond the Sitz im Leben of its author and places critical emphasis on the connection between the letter’s combined form and content. Prison letter writing is explored through the language of theology as an appropriate interpretative method that conceives of its historical presence as one that occurs within history but is not limited by history. In adopting this tack, the author offers presence as a way of avoiding the complications of a theological nomenclature that threatens to stand outside of history or become too abstract and otherworldly to meet the demands and needs of those for whom the project of prison writing remained transformational. Comparisons in the penal cultures of Germany and India from the twentieth century are explored for the purpose of broadening the conversation.
      PubDate: 2015-09-11
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2015)
  • Lines in Water: Religious Boundaries in South Asia, by Eliza F. Kent and
           Tazim R. Kassam (eds.). Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2013. 412
           pp. $49.95. ISBN 978-0-8156-3319-8
    • Authors: Deepa S. Reddy
      PubDate: 2015-08-28
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2015)
  • Engaging South Asian Religions: Boundaries, Appropriations and
           Resistances, by Matthew Schmalz and Peter Gottschalk (eds.). Albany, NY:
           State University of New York Press, 2011. 253 pp. $75.00. ISBN
           978-1-4384-3323-3 (hardback). $24.95. ISBN 978-1-4384-33
    • Authors: John Zavos
      PubDate: 2015-08-28
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2015)
  • Making Sense of Tantric Buddhism: History, Semiology, and Transgression in
           the Indian Traditions, by Christian K. Wedemeyer. New York: Columbia
           University Press, 2013. xx + 313 pp. £34.50. ISBN 0-231-16240-1
           (hardback). £18.00. ISBN 0-231-16241-8
    • Authors: David DiValerio
      PubDate: 2015-08-28
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2015)
  • His Hiding Place is Darkness: A Hindu-Catholic Theopoetics of Divine
           Absence, by Francis X. Clooney, SJ. Stanford, CA: Stanford University
           Press, 2014. xvi + 187 pp. $85.00. ISBN 9780804776806 (hardback). $24.95.
           ISBN 978-0-8047-7681-3
    • Authors: Thomas A. Forsthoefel
      PubDate: 2015-08-28
      Issue No: Vol. 8 (2015)
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