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  • The Polemics of Conflicting Modernities

    Richard S. Weiss

    Chapter from the book: Weiss, R. 2019. The Emergence of Modern Hinduism: Religion on the Margins of Colonialism.


    Chapter 5 presents a detailed scholarly account of an important debate between Ramalinga and the Tamil Shaiva reform leader Arumuga Navalar. Like Ramalinga, Navalar worked to transform Tamil Shaivism, but his vision of tradition closely conformed to cosmopolitan expressions of Hinduism. He sought to limit the Shaiva canon to a specific corpus of revered texts, and he advanced a rationality that denied the possibility of modern miracles and new scriptural revelations. He strongly criticized Ramalinga’s supernatural claims and the use of Ramalinga’s verses in Shaiva ritual contexts. His resistance to Ramalinga’s influence underscores the disparity between Ramalinga’s vision of Hinduism and those of cosmopolitan leaders. This chapter thus highlights the diversity of Hindu approaches to modernization.

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    Weiss, R. 2019. The Polemics of Conflicting Modernities. In: Weiss, R, The Emergence of Modern Hinduism. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.75.e

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    Published on Aug. 6, 2019