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Interviews with Scholars of Hinduism with their New Books

Interviews with Scholars of Hinduism with their New Books
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United States

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Interviews with Scholars of Hinduism with their New Books

Language:

English


Episodes

Philip Lutgendorf, “The Epic of Ram” (Harvard University Press, 2016-)

11/2/2018
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Dr. Philip Lutgendorf is Retired Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies at the University of Iowa. He is currently working on a seven-volume translation of the Hindi devotional text, the Rāmcaritmānas written by the sixteenth-century North Indian poet, Tulsīdās. The first four volumes of the translation, entitled The Epic...

Duration:01:02:34

Anand Taneja, “Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi”

10/31/2018
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Anand Taneja’s Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi (Stanford University Press, 2017) is a landmark publication that interrogates modes of religious practice and imaginaries of time that disrupt dominant claims and narratives of the post-colonial state about religion and religious identity. Centered on the ruins...

Duration:00:53:58

Shyam Ranganathan, “Hinduism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation” (Routledge, 2018)

8/20/2018
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In Hinduism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation (Routledge, 2018), Shyam Ranganathan argues that a careful philosophical study reveals telling philosophical disagreements across topics such as: ethics, logic, epistemology, moral standing, metaphysics, and politics. His analysis offers an innovative stance on the very study of Hinduism, and tensions between scholars and practitioners of...

Duration:00:50:40

Keya Maitra, “Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita: A Contemporary Introduction” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)

8/15/2018
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The Bhagavad Gita is one of the foundational texts of Hinduism and probably the one most familiar and popular in the West. The moral problem that motivates the text – is it right to kill members of one’s extended family if they are on the other side in a war?...

Duration:01:01:59

Sucharita Adluri, “Textual Authority in Classical Indian Thought: Ramanuja and the Vishnu Purana” (Routledge, 2014)

8/2/2018
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What role, if any, do mythological texts play in philosophical discourse? While modern Hindu Studies scholars are becoming increasingly attuned to the extent to which Indian narratives encode ideology, Sucharita Adluri’s Textual Authority in Classical Indian Thought: Ramanuja and the Vishnu Purana (Routledge, 2014) explores the extent to which the great medieval Hindu...

Duration:00:36:07

Lavanya Vemsani, “Modern Hinduism in Text and Context” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)

7/2/2018
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Dr. Lavanya Vemsani is Distinguished Professor of India History and Religions at Shawnee University and the editor of the new volume entitled Modern Hinduism in Text and Context (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018). The essays in this volume look at a variety of topics ranging from Shaivite religious texts to biographies, novels,...

Duration:00:35:58

Elaine Fisher, “Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South Asia” (U California Press, 2017)

5/21/2018
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Elaine Fisher’s Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South Asia (University of California Press, 2017) sheds light on the variegated, pluralistic texture of Hinduism in precolonial times. Drawing on Sanskrit, Telugu, and Tamil sources, Fisher argues for a uniquely South Asian form of religious pluralism, evidenced by religious...

Duration:00:34:32

Walter N. Hakala, “Negotiating Languages: Urdu, Hindi, and the Definition of Modern South Asia” (Columbia UP, 2016)

5/2/2018
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For many people language is a central characteristic of their social identity. In modern South Asia, the production of Urdu and Hindi as national languages was intricately tied to the hardening of religious identities. South Asian lexicographers, those folks who were most intimately working with language, were at the center...

Duration:01:10:16

Hugh Urban, “Zorba the Buddha: Sex, Spirituality, and Capitalism in the Global Osho Movement” (U. Cal Press, 2016)

10/9/2017
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Many contemporary spiritual movements are characterized by denial of material pleasures, subjugation of the self, and focus on transcendence. A spiritual program that cultivates embodied satisfaction is often seen as inauthentic and fraudulent. These public understandings of new religious movements are part of the reason why the Indian Guru, Bhagwan...

Duration:00:42:07

Michael J. Altman, “Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893” (Oxford UP, 2017)

9/12/2017
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Scholars regularly assert that at Chicago’s World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893 Swami Vivekananda initiated Hinduism in America. Many histories of Hinduism in America reproduce this type of synthesizing narrative. But how was Hinduism defined by Vivekananda and how was it understood by his American audience? How did it relate...

Duration:00:52:59

William Elison, et.al. “Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation” (Harvard UP, 2016)

6/20/2017
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Amar Akbar Anthony is a film like no other. When you see it you cannot forget it. Filled with music, comedy, drama, and love it captures audiences in multiple ways. But what can we learn from a deeper look at this classic of Hindi cinema? William Elison, Assistant Professor at...

Duration:01:11:31

Rupa Viswanath, “The Pariah Problem: Caste, Religion, and the Social in Modern India” (Columbia UP, 2014)

11/2/2016
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The so called “Pariah Problem” emerged in public consciousness in the 1890s in India as state officials, missionaries and “upper”caste landlords, among others, struggled to understood the situation of Dalits (those subordinated populations once called untouchables). In The Pariah Problem: Caste, Religion, and the Social in Modern India (Columbia University...

Duration:00:33:03

Roman Sieler, “Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Medicine and Martial Arts in South India” (Oxford UP, 2015)

10/28/2016
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Roman Sieler’s Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Medicine and Martial Arts in South India (Oxford University Press, 2015) is a fine-grained ethnographic study of varmakkalai–the art of vital spots, a South Indian practice that encompasses both martial and medical activities. The interview explores how varmakkalai relates to the wider field of...

Duration:01:15:03

Arie L. Molendijk, “Friedrich Max Muller and the Sacred Books of the East” (Oxford UP, 2016)

10/18/2016
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Arie L. Molendijk is Professor of the History of Christianity and Philosophy in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He has written Friedrich Max Muller and the Sacred Books of the East (Oxford University Press, 2016) to study how this seminal series...

Duration:00:50:14

Sangay Mishra, “Desis Divided: The Political Lives of South Asian Americans” (U of Minnesota Press, 2016)

4/12/2016
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Sangay Mishra is the author of Desis Divided: The Political Lives of South Asian Americans (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Mishra is an assistant professor of political science at Drew University. While the number of South Asian Americans living in the U.S. has been growing rapidly over the last several...

Duration:00:22:22

Amanda Lucia, “Reflections of Amma: Devotees in a Global Embrace” (University of California Press, 2014)

9/26/2015
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Waiting several hours in line for a hug is well worth it for thousands of people, the devotees of the Guru, Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi. In Reflections of Amma: Devotees in a Global Embrace (University of California Press, 2014), Amanda Lucia, Associate Professor of Religion at UC Riverside, provides a rich...

Duration:00:55:23

Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Srila Roy, “New Subaltern Politics: Reconceptualizing Hegemony and Resistance in Contemporary India” (Oxford UPs 2015)

9/8/2015
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New Subaltern Politics: Reconceptualizing Hegemony and Resistance in Contemporary India (Oxford University Press, 2015), edited by Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Srila Roy, is a wonderfully rich and theoretically coherent collection of texts that critically assess the legacies of Subaltern Studies through research into political movements in India today. The case...

Duration:00:35:35

Joyce B. Flueckiger, “When the World Becomes Female: Guises of a South Indian Goddess” (Indiana UP, 2013)

7/3/2015
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Joyce B. Flueckiger‘s new bookWhen the World Becomes Female: Guises of a South Indian Goddess (Indiana University Press, 2013) is a rich and colorful analysis of the goddess Gangamma’s festival and her devotees. During the festival men take on female guises, whilst women intensify the rituals that they perform throughout...

Duration:00:57:40

Andrea Jain, “Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture” (Oxford UP, 2014)

5/13/2015
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Is yoga religious? This question has not only been asked recently by the broader public but also posed in the courts. Many argue that of course it is. The story of yoga in the popular imagination is often narrated as an ancient wisdom tradition that informs contemporary postural movements which...

Duration:01:03:22

Peter Gottschalk, “Religion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India” (Oxford UP, 2012)

4/13/2015
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When did religion begin in South Asia? Many would argue that it was not until the colonial encounter that South Asians began to understand themselves as religious. In Religion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India (Oxford University Press, 2012), Peter Gottschalk, Professor of Religion at Wesleyan...

Duration:01:01:28