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Modern Hindu Traditionalism addresses Hindu traditions that resisted contact with both Neo-Hindu thought and views of "classical" Hinduism perceived to be outmoded.
This book provides an in-depth understanding of Modern Hindu Traditionalism through the case study of the Ramanandi order (sampradaya) and the portrait of the Jagadguru Ramanandacarya Ramnaresacarya. This guru belongs to the ancient tradition of the Ramanandi order, which is active at the present time and the biggest Vaisnava religious order in Northern India. Analyzing the historical evolution of the Ramanandi order, the author shows how different centers have undergone different changes over the centuries, and focuses on the independence struggle of a group of Ramanandis from the Ramanujis, which led to the creation of the role of Jagadguru Ramanandacarya and the construction of the Sri Math. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, this book casts light on figures and processes central to the development of Hinduism in the twentieth and twenty-first century and consequently describes the role of religion in contemporary Indian society. The author examines the role religious institutions and their leaders have in the everyday life of individuals, how they interact with and in the society, and how they approach and interpret social and political issues. The Ramanandis' use of new methods of communication, in particular social media, is an innovative part of the study.
A welcome innovation in the studies of South Asian religion, this book will be of interest to historians, anthropologists, and scholars of Hinduism and religion and politics.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781138630963
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Daniela Bevilacqua received her PhD from the University of Rome, Sapienza, Italy in co-tutoring with the Paris Nanterre University. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow involved in the Hatha Yoga Project at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK.
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