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Re-thinking the guru: towards a typology of forms of religious domination in pre-Colonial Punjab

Hegarty, James Marcel 2009. Re-thinking the guru: towards a typology of forms of religious domination in pre-Colonial Punjab. Religions of South Asia 3 (2) , pp. 179-199.

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Abstract

This paper explores the role of hagiographical tradition in the formation of Sikh identity and in shaping the attitude’s of Sikhs to non-Sikhs in eighteenth-century Punjab. The paper focuses on Sikh hagiographical literature. I suggest that, by inserting Nānak and his work in a range of dramatic scenarios, Sikh hagiographies of the early C18th develop a perspective on the Guru and the austere devotional ideals of his verse that considerably widens their social appeal and cosmic scope, and establishes an arena for the formation and adaptation of forms of religious identity amongst Sikhs. The paper suggests that this form of analysis may serve to enrich and broaden the productive scholarly dialogue concerning the social and political life of the suffix ism, the designation ‘religion’ and the development of a wide variety of, by turn, cherished and vilified definitional perspectives in South Asian studies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Publisher: Equinox
ISSN: 1751-2689
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2017 05:59
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/31447

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