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  • Conclusion

    Richard S. Weiss

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


    The conclusion challenges the scholarly tendency to locate the origins of modern Hinduism only in cosmopolitan reform Hinduism and, by extension, in dialogue with the West. It demonstrates that Ramalinga’s innovations aligned with, and contributed to, new trends in Hindu expression, including the extension of ritual to lower castes; the use of new technologies to increase accessibility and to challenge established authority; and the sustained “enchantment” of Hinduism and its emphasis on charismatic leadership. The chapter argues that because Ramalinga drew inspiration from Shaiva traditions in articulating these innovations, any consideration of Hindu modernity must take seriously the role of Hindu traditions not just in forging continuity with the past but also with providing sources of innovation and change. The work concludes with a call for further studies that examine regional leaders working in vernacular languages, and for frameworks that consider multiple modernities with diverse genealogies.

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    Weiss, R. 2019. Conclusion. In: Weiss, R, The Emergence of Modern Hinduism. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.75.g

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    Published on Aug. 6, 2019