In February, Oxford University Press will release Religion and Modernity in India by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay (Victoria University of Wellington) and Aloka Parasher Sen (University of Hyderabad). The publisher’s description follows:
Modernity, which emphasizes the relegation of religion firmly to an individual’s private life, is a challenging idea for any culture. In India it faces a particularly unusual problem: the persistence of numerous traditional and religious practices means that religion and modernity co-habit here in a complex, plural, transient, and historically evolving relationship.
Religion and Modernity in India explores this complex relationship through a series of case studies on the quotidian experiences of people practicing a variety of religions. It presents the dynamically interacting textures of society engaging with modernity in divergent ways, both historically and in contemporary times.
The essays in this collection consciously bring in the idea of inclusivity by factoring in the small and local contexts. They raise important questions about marginality and sexuality, and discuss the oral and cultural traditions of both mainstream and marginal communities such as tribal communities and women. In doing so, they put forward the perspectives of groups that represent difference but at the same time are linked to a larger whole.