This project is structured around the discussion of issues at a series of meetings in Delhi, Manchester, Crawfordsville and Houston.
Event 1: Manchester, 10 July 2008
Introduction plus temple building and public worship
An introduction to the network, plus papers on the issue of modern temples and public forms of worship. This session focuses on the establishment of large, modern temples with a national profile; for example, the Neasden temple in north-west London, and the Akshardham temple in New Delhi, both, as it so happens, established in recent years by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. The session also examines the development of new modes of worship, including congregational innovation in political contexts, such as the Shiv Sena's 'Maha Aarti' ceremonies, and so-called 'on-line puja' in transnational perspective. This session was held as a panel of the 20th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, July 8th - 11th 2008. The panel ran on 9th July. For details of papers offered in this panel, please visit the panel page.
Event 2: Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 19-20 November 2008
Hindu nationalist organisations in social and political context
The network will investigate how Hindu nationalists have sought to represent Hindus and Hinduism in a range of public spaces. It will ask what impact such interventions have had on ideas of Hinduism, and how and why such interventions may vary in the different country contexts examined. For a more detailed outline of the session's coverage, please click panel page. For information on the session programme, please click panel page.
Event 3: Wabash College, Crawfordsville, 23-24 March 2009
'Umbrella' Organisations and 'Ecumenical' Hinduism
Certain diaspora organisations have sought to represent Hindus socially, culturally, politically in a self-consciously broad, non-aligned fashion (for example, the Hindu Forum of Britain and the Hindu American Foundation). An associated issue is what some commentators have called the development of 'ecumenical Hinduism', in which a variety of modes of worship and other practices are recognised and sometimes brought into conversation with one another. The network will examine the ideological trajectories of such organisations and forms of Hinduism, and their impact both in diasporic and Indian contexts. For further details on this session, please click panel page.
Event 4: Manchester, 8-9 July 2009
Modern Gurus, Sampradayas and 'Media Hinduism'
The focus of this session is on ways in which Hinduism is represented first through the ideas and practices of modern gurus and sampradayas, and secondly through the full range of modern media and communications technology. One of our objectives is to investigate the relationship between traditional Hindu modes of organisation and the multiple possibilities provided by media and communications technologies. To view the call for papers as a pdf document, please click here. To view the programme, please click here
Event 5: Rice University, Houston, 20-21 November 2009
Hindu trans-nationalism: organisation, ideologies, networks
Hindu nationalists have been most vociferous in projecting a sense of global Hindu identity. The network will examine the organisational dynamics and assess the impact of transnational Hindu nationalism on the development of new forms of public Hindu identity. To find out more, please visit the Rice session site.
Event 6: Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, 2-4 March 2010
Hindu organisations in education and development
'Faith-based' development and disaster relief work has become increasingly significant in recent years. The network will explore ways in which Hindu organisations have become part of this development both in India and the diaspora, and how the transnational profile of some organisations has contributed to this development. The network will also examine the intervention of Hindu organisations in educational contexts, and the idea Hinduism developed in the education sector. This session was held in collaboration with the Indic Studies Network, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. For details of the session, please visit the Indic Studies Network website.
Event 7: Bonn, July 2010
The public representataion of South Asian religions in the postcolonial world
This session opens up the network to the exploration of other South Asian religious traditions. It focuses on the ways in which different organisations and institutions project the public face of South Asian religious traditions, and the ways in which different public contexts shape representation, across South Asia and the diaspora. The session forms a panel at the 21st European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, to be held 26th to 29th July 2010. Please click here for details of the session, which will be held on the first day of the conference, 26th July 2010.