Download A Place at the Multicultural Table: The Development of an by Prema Kurien PDF

By Prema Kurien

Multiculturalism within the usa is usually lauded as a good social perfect celebrating the range of our kingdom. yet, actually, immigrants usually suppose burdened to create a novel formula in their identification that doesn't mirror the variety of cultures that exist of their place of birth. Hindu americans have confronted this problem over the past fifteen years, because the variety of Indians that experience immigrated to this nation has greater than doubled. In ''A position on the Multicultural Table'', Prema A. Kurien exhibits how a number of Hindu American firms - spiritual, cultural, and political - are trying to respond to the perplexing questions of identification outdoor their native land. Drawing at the stories of either immigrant and American-born Hindu americans, Kurien demonstrates how spiritual principles and practices are being imported, exported, and reshaped within the method. the results of this transnational circulation is an American Hinduism - an geared up, politicized, and standardized model of that that's present in India. this primary in-depth examine Hinduism within the usa and the Hindu Indian American group is helping readers to appreciate the non-public devotions, practices, and ideology of Hindu Indian american citizens in addition to their political mobilization and activism. It explains the diversities among immigrant and American-born Hindu american citizens, how either comprehend their faith and their identification, and it emphasizes the significance of the social and cultural context of the U.S. in influencing the advance of an American Hinduism.

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Extra info for A Place at the Multicultural Table: The Development of an American Hinduism

Example text

The census also made clear, however, that upper castes, or the “twice-born” communities, only constituted 15 percent of the entire population, less than the percentage of Muslims in the Indian empire (25 percent) and of Untouchable groups (20 percent). This revelation further increased the anxieties of the upper castes and led some reformist leaders to take the first attempts to include Untouchable groups, until then considered to be outside the boundaries of the “pure” Hindu society, within the Hindu fold (Frykenberg 1997, 239).

Hindu texts are vast and very ancient. There are two main types of texts—sruti, or “revealed” scripture (which is considered to be authorless and thus to enshrine eternal truth) and smriti, or “remembered”scripture (human authorship is acknowledged here, but these are still considered to be inspired texts). The earliest texts of the sruti literature are the Vedas. There are four collections of Vedas—the Rig, Sama, Yajur, and Atharva—each divided roughly chronologically into four sections: (1) Vedic samhitas (containing hymns); (2) Brahmanas (containing rituals and prayers to guide priests); (3) Aranyakas (treatises concerning worship and meditation); and (4) Upanishads (containing mystical and philosophical teachings).

A variety of Hindu reform movements developed in the nineteenth century in reaction to Christian missionary activity and exposure to Western education and thinking, giving rise to a Hindu revival or renaissance. This Hindu renaissance in turn fed into the development of a Hindu nationalist movement which first emerged in the early decades of the twentieth century. ” These developments are discussed in chapter 6. Popular Hinduism in Contemporary India Hindu Beliefs The problem of defining Hinduism and its beliefs and practices has already been referred to.

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