Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South India
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In Hindu Pluralism, Elaine M. Fisher complicates the traditional scholarly narrative of the unification of Hinduism. By calling into question the colonial categories implicit in the term “sectarianism,” Fisher’s work excavates the pluralistic textures of precolonial Hinduism in the centuries prior to British intervention. Drawing on previously unpublished sources in Sanskrit, Tamil, and Telugu, Fisher argues that the performance of plural religious identities in public space in Indian early modernity paved the way for the emergence of a distinctively non-Western form of religious pluralism. This work provides a critical resource for understanding how Hinduism developed in the early modern period, a crucial era that set the tenor for religion's role in public life in India through the present day.
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Advaita Vedānta Āgamas Appayya Dīkṣita Ardhanārīśvara authority boundaries Brahmā Brahminical Caṅkam canon commentary composed contemporary deity devotional discourse distinct doctrine early modern south esoteric fact Games of Śiva Girvânendra goddess Hindu Hindu sectarian Hinduism hymn instance institutions intellectual Kālidāsa Kanchipuram lineage literature Mādhva Madurai mantra manuscript means Mīmāṃsā Mīnākṣī modern south India Nampi Nārāyaṇa narrative Nīlakaṇṭha Dīkṣita one’s original orthodox Pandian Pāśupata patalam philology pluralism poets polemical preceptor public space public theology Purāṇas Purāṇic Rāmānuja refers religion religious culture religious identity ritual practice Sacred Games Saiddhāntika Śaiva Śaiva and Vaiṣṇava Śaiva Siddhānta Śaivism Śākta Samaya Samayins Śaṅkara Śaṅkarācārya Sanskrit Sarasvati scholars scriptural sectarian communities seventeenth century Śiva Śivalīlārṇava sixteenth Smārta Smārta-Śaiva social south India Sringeri Śrīvidyā Tamil country Tamil Nadu Tamil Śaiva Tanjavur Tantric Telugu textual theologians tion Tirumalai Nāyaka Tiruviḷaiyāṭal Purāṇam tradition tripuṇḍra Upaniṣads Vaidika Vaiṣṇava Vedas Vedic vernacular verse Viṣṇu worship