Understanding Culture and Society in India: A Study of Sufis, Saints and Deities in Jammu Region

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Abha Chauhan
Springer Nature Singapore, Jun 28, 2022 - Social Science - 306 pages
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This book is an in-depth account of people’s cultural and religious life in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It brings out the significance of Sufi and deity shrines as alternative places of worship that give meaning and purpose to people’s lives. It includes sites and practices commonly associated with Islam/Sufism and Hinduism as spaces of shared culture. Most of the existing literature of Jammu and Kashmir is on Kashmir focusing mostly on topics such as politics, state, identity, conflict or violence. This book proposes to go beyond these works by delimiting the focus and area of the study to culture, society and religion. It explores the sites of religious pluralism and tolerance in the violence-ridden territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The chapters are mainly based on ethnographic data collected through qualitative methods like observation – participant and non-participant, case studies, in-depth interviews and oral history. The book is of interest to researchers, both faculty and graduate students, in the areas of sociology of religion, social anthropology, religious studies, cultural studies, Sufism, shrines and deity worship in South Asia.

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About the author (2022)

Abha Chauhan is Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Jammu, Jammu (J&K, India). She holds a Ph.D. from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Her research interests and publications are in the areas of gender, community, kinship, marriage, religion, culture, and conflict studies. She has been Convenor, RC 10 ‘Gender Studies’, Managing Committee Member, and Secretary of the Indian Sociological Society.

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