The Construction of Religious Boundaries: Culture, Identity, and Diversity in the Sikh Tradition
In this major reinterpretation of religion and society in India, Harjot Oberoi challenges earlier accounts of Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam as historically given categories encompassing well-demarcated units of religious identity. Through a searching examination of Sikh historical materials, he shows that early Sikh tradition was not concerned with establishing distinct religious boundaries. Most Sikhs recognized multiple identities grounded in local, regional, religious, and secular loyalties. Consequently, religious identities were highly blurred and several competing definitions of what constituted a Sikh were possible.
In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, however, the Singh Sabha, a powerful new Sikh movement, began to view the multiplicity in Sikh identity with suspicion and hostility. Aided by social and cultural forces unleashed by the British Raj, the Singh Sabha sought to recast Sikh tradition and purge it of diversity. The ethnocentric logic of a new elite dissolved alternative ideals under the highly codified culture of modern Sikhism.
A study of the process by which a pluralistic religious world view is replaced by a monolithic one, this important book calls into question basic assumptions about the efficacy of fundamentalist claims and the construction of all social and religious identities. An essential book for the field of South Asian religions, this work is also an important contribution to cultural anthropology, postcolonial studies, and the history of religion in general.
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General Map of Punjab
Map of British Punjab
Contents of the Dasam Granth
A Guru Lineage The Sodhis of Anandpur
Guru Lineages in the Nineteenth Century
Genealogy of a Giani Family in Amritsar
A List of Voluntary Socioreligious and Educational Associations in Punjab 186585
Number of Government Schools and Students Enrolled 185660
Cumulative Total of Books 187580
The Making of
Ritual Fees Received in Cash by a Nai
Sikh Professionals in 1900
Tat Khalsa Cultural Religious and Economic Associations 18861908
Other editions - View all
Adi Granth administration akhara Amritsar Sabha Arya Samaj Attar Singh Baisakhi became Bhai Bhai Gurdas biradari Brahmans British Calcutta caste census colonial Dasam Granth Delhi district doctrines early Sikh eighteenth century elites established faith Ferozepore festival Giani Gobind Singh Golden Temple Gugga Gurmat Gurmukh Gurmukh Singh Guru Gobind guru lineages Guru Nanak Hindu holy Ibid ideology India initiation Jawahir Singh Khalsa Akhbar Khalsa College Khalsa Diwan Khalsa Sikhs Khalsa Tract Society Khem Singh Bedi Lahore leadership life-cycle rituals literature Ludhiana Maharaja major Malwa marriage Muslim nineteenth century Nirmala particularly Patiala pilgrimage political popular religion Press province published Punjab Rahit Rahit-namas Raja Ranjit Singh Rawalpindi religious rites role Sahajdhari Sahib saints Sakhi Sarvar Sanatan Sikhs scriptures Sikh gurus Sikh identity Sikh sacred Sikh shrines Sikh tradition Sikhism Sitala social society Sodhis Sri Guru symbols Tat Khalsa tion Udasi village worship