New Books in Indian Religions

Interviews with Scholars of Indian Religions with their New Books

Religion & Spirituality
Hinduism
201
Archana Venkatesan, "Endless Song: Tiruvaymoli"...
In this interview we discuss the sophisticated structure and profound content of the Tiruvaymoli, along with the translator’s own transformative journey rending into English the meaning, emotion, cadence and kaleidoscopic brilliance proper to this Tamil masterpiece...
61 min
202
Elizabeth A. Cecil, "Mapping the Pāśupata Lands...
Cecil weaves together material from the Sanskrit text Skandapurāṇa, physical landscapes, inscriptions, monuments, and icons to provide groundbreaking insight into the earliest known community of Śiva devotees: the Pāśupatas...
44 min
203
Suzanne Newcombe, "Yoga in Britain: Stretching ...
Newcombe charts the trajectory of how yoga in became mainstream in Britain to the point of being taught to thousands of middle-class women in adult education classes...
60 min
204
Pankaj Jain, "Dharma in America: A Short Histor...
Jain offers a concise history of Hindus and Jains in the Americas over the last two centuries..
71 min
205
Knut A. Jacobsen, "Yoga in Modern Hinduism: Har...
Jacobsen examines the Kāpil Maṭh, a Sāṃkhyayoga institution emerging in the late nineteenth century Bengal...
66 min
206
Kate Imy, "Faithful Fighters: Identity and Powe...
"Faithful Fighters" is a powerful and brilliant meditation on the impossibility of modern colonial power to canonize religion and religious identity...
67 min
207
Brian A. Hatcher, "Hinduism Before Reform" (Har...
Did modern Hinduism truly emerge due to the “reforms” instigated by “progressive” colonial figures such as Rammohun Roy?
58 min
208
Matt Cook, "Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Parad...
According to Cook, a paradox paradox is a sophisticated kind of magic trick...
51 min
209
Andrew Ollett, "Language of the Snakes" (U Cali...
Ollett argues that Prakit is “the most important Indian language you’ve never heard of.”
63 min
210
Phillipa Chong, “Inside the Critics’ Circle: Bo...
How does the world of book reviews work?
39 min
211
Jennifer B. Saunders, "Imagining Religious Comm...
Saunders tells the story of the Gupta family through the personal and religious narratives they tell as they create and maintain their extended family and community across national borders..
70 min
212
K. Linder et al., "Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alt...
If you’re a grad student facing the ugly reality of finding a tenure-track job, you could easily be forgiven for thinking about a career change...
36 min
213
Kenneth R. Valpey, "Cow Care in Hindu Animal Et...
What does cow care in India have to offer modern Western discourse animal ethics?
56 min
214
Simon Brodbeck, "Krishna's Lineage: The Harivam...
While typically circulating as a separate text, The Harivamsha forms the final part of the Mahabharata storyline...
45 min
215
Christopher Austin, "Pradyumna: Lover, Magician...
This is the first sustained study of an important figure in Hindu narrative, one largely obscure to readers and scholars alike: Kṛṣṇa's son Pradyumna...
54 min
216
Alberto Cairo, "How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter...
We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if we don’t understand what we’re looking at?
54 min
217
Angela Rudert, "Shakti's New Voice: Guru Devoti...
Gurumaa’s syncretic approach innovates Hindu religiosity, as does her progressive attitudes towards treatment of women...
78 min
218
Kathryn Conrad on University Press Publishing
What do university presses do, and how do they do it?
37 min
219
J. Neuhaus, "Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intell...
The things that make people academics do not necessarily make them good teachers...
29 min
220
Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchee, "Philology a...
The Hindu great epic, Mahābhārata, exists today in hundreds of variant manuscripts across India...
65 min
221
Mark McClish, "The History of the Arthaśāstra: ...
Was ancient India ruled by politics or religion?
40 min
222
Alexander Rocklin, "The Regulation of Religion ...
Beginning in the mid 19th century, thousands of indentured laborers traveled from India to the Caribbean, and many settled in Trinidad...
42 min
223
Arik Moran, "Kingship and Polity on the Himalay...
Arik Moran examines three Rajput kingdoms during the transition to British rule (c. 1790-1840) and their interconnected histories and court intrigues.
51 min
224
William Elison, "The Neighborhood of Gods: The ...
Elison explores how slum residents, tribal people, and members of other marginalized groups use religious icons to mark urban spaces in Mumbai...
64 min
225
Ithamar Theodor, "Exploring the Bhagavad Gītā: ...
The Bhagavad Gītā remains to this day a mainstay of Hinduism and Hindu Studies alike,..
52 min
226
Harshita M. Kamath, "The Artifice of Brahmin Ma...
This book features an investigation of men donning a women’s guises to impersonate female characters...
47 min
227
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz, "Reciting the Godd...
This book represents the very first study of a fascinating Hindu phenomenon: the Svasthanivratakatha (SVK), a sixteenth-century narrative textual tradition native to Nepal surrounding the Goddess, Svasthānī...
58 min
228
John Stratton Hawley, "Bhakti and Power: Debati...
What is the relationship between religion and power?
47 min
229
Marko Geslani, "Rites of the God-King: Śānti an...
Is “Vedic” fire sacrifice at odds with “Hindu” image worship?
56 min
230
Patton E. Burchett, "A Genealogy of Devotion: B...
Burchett re-examines what we assume about the rise of devotionalism in North India, tracing its flowering since India’s early medieval “Tantric Age” to present day...
59 min
231
Deonnie Moodie, "The Making of a Modern Temple ...
Moodie examines the history of the Kalighat temple of Kolkata...
57 min
232
Anway Mukhopadhyay, "The Goddess in Hindu-Tantr...
Why is the Indian Goddess sometimes figured as a corpse in Tantric Traditions?
75 min
233
A. M. Ruppell, "The Cambridge Introduction to S...
Why would anyone want to study Sanskrit, an ancient complex tongue? What’s the best way to go about doing so?
74 min
234
Raj Balkaran, "The Goddess and The King in Indi...
Why are myths of the Indian Great Goddess couched in a conversation between a deposed king and forest-dwelling ascetic?
43 min
235
Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, "In Dialogue with Clas...
Why does the narrative motif of ‘dialogue’ pervade Hindu texts?
51 min
236
David V. Mason, "The Performative Ground of Rel...
To what extent may we say that religion is a theatrical phenomenon, and that theatre is a religious experience?
51 min
237
Brad Stoddard and Craig Martin, “Stereotyping R...
Our culture is full of popular stereotypes about religion, both positive and negative...
42 min
238
Borayin Larios, "Embodying the Vedas: Tradition...
Larios probes the backbone of what makes Hinduism the world’s oldest living tradition: the unbroken chain of transmission of Vedic texts composed over 3,000 years ago, originating circa 1750-1200 BCE...
64 min
239
Discussion of Massive Online Peer Review and Op...
In the information age, knowledge is power. Hence, facilitating the access to knowledge to wider publics empowers citizens and makes societies more democratic...
29 min
240
Nathan McGovern, "The Snake and The Mongoose: T...
Nathan McGovern draws on ancient texts to problematize the distinction between Brahman and non-Brahman in this era, shedding light on the presence of various Buddhist, Jain and Vedic groups who equally identified as Brahmans.
51 min
241
Prakash Shah, "Western Foundations of the Caste...
The Indian caste system is an ancient, pervasive institution of social organization within the subcontinent – or is it?
58 min
242
Jeffrey D. Long, "Perspectives on Reincarnation...
What happens after you die? The book brings together fascinating theological and religious studies perspectives on a controversial yet pervasive idea: reincarnation...
70 min
243
Gil Ben-Herut, "Śiva’s Saints: The Origins of D...
Studies of Hindu saints tend to focus primarily on the saints themselves—their words, teachings, and practices—rather than tending to the often complex and complicated world of texts and traditions about those saints...
68 min
244
Caleb Simmons, "Nine Nights of the Goddess: The...
This work maps manifestations of the festival across historical periods and local celebrations over the regions of West Bengal, Odish...
39 min
245
B.R. Ambedkar, "Annihilation of Caste: The Anno...
This landmark speech by Dr. B.R. Ambedakar is the pinnacle of his scholarly work and cements his legacy alongside Mahatma Gandhi in Indian politics...
67 min
246
Mani Rao, "Living Mantra: Mantra, Deity, and Vi...
What role does mantra play in the lives of Hindu practitioners?
61 min
247
McKenzie Wark, "General Intellects: Twenty-One ...
McKenzie Wark’s new book offers 21 focused studies of thinkers working in a wide range of fields who are worth your attention...
61 min
248
Sumantra Bose, "Secular States, Religious Polit...
Sumantra Bose's new book Secular States, Religious Politics, India, Turkey and the Future of Secularism (Cambridge University Press, 2018) is a fascinating comparison of the rise of religious parties...
55 min
249
Danna Agmon, "A Colonial Affair: Commerce, Conv...
People sometimes forget—if they are even aware—that France’s empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries included a colonial presence in South Asia, a presence that at one time rivaled that of the British.
54 min
250
Philip Lutgendorf, “The Epic of Ram” (Harvard U...
Dr. Philip Lutgendorf is Retired Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies at the University of Iowa. He is currently working on a seven-volume translation of the Hindi devotional text, the Rāmcaritmānas written by the sixteenth-century North Indian...
62 min
251
Anand Taneja, “Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Eco...
Anand Taneja’s Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi (Stanford University Press, 2017) is a landmark publication that interrogates modes of religious practice and imaginaries of time that disrupt dominant claims...
54 min
252
Shyam Ranganathan, “Hinduism: A Contemporary Ph...
In Hinduism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation (Routledge, 2018), Shyam Ranganathan argues that a careful philosophical study reveals telling philosophical disagreements across topics such as: ethics, logic, epistemology, moral standing,
50 min
253
Keya Maitra, “Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita: ...
The Bhagavad Gita is one of the foundational texts of Hinduism and probably the one most familiar and popular in the West. The moral problem that motivates the text – is it right to kill members of one’s extended family if they are on the other side in...
62 min
254
Sucharita Adluri, “Textual Authority in Classic...
What role, if any, do mythological texts play in philosophical discourse?  While modern Hindu Studies scholars are becoming increasingly attuned to the extent to which Indian narratives encode ideology, Sucharita Adluri’s Textual Authority in Classical...
36 min
255
Lavanya Vemsani, “Modern Hinduism in Text and C...
Dr. Lavanya Vemsani is Distinguished Professor of India History and Religions at Shawnee University and the editor of the new volume entitled Modern Hinduism in Text and Context (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018).
36 min
256
Elaine Fisher, “Hindu Pluralism: Religion and t...
Elaine Fisher’s Hindu Pluralism: Religion and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South Asia (University of California Press, 2017) sheds light on the variegated, pluralistic texture of Hinduism in precolonial times. Drawing on Sanskrit, Telugu,
34 min
257
Walter N. Hakala, “Negotiating Languages: Urdu,...
For many people language is a central characteristic of their social identity. In modern South Asia, the production of Urdu and Hindi as national languages was intricately tied to the hardening of religious identities. South Asian lexicographers,
70 min
258
Hugh Urban, “Zorba the Buddha: Sex, Spiritualit...
Many contemporary spiritual movements are characterized by denial of material pleasures, subjugation of the self, and focus on transcendence. A spiritual program that cultivates embodied satisfaction is often seen as inauthentic and fraudulent.
42 min
259
Michael J. Altman, “Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: Ame...
Scholars regularly assert that at Chicago’s World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893 Swami Vivekananda initiated Hinduism in America. Many histories of Hinduism in America reproduce this type of synthesizing narrative.
53 min
260
William Elison, et.al. “Amar Akbar Anthony: Bol...
Amar Akbar Anthony is a film like no other. When you see it you cannot forget it. Filled with music, comedy, drama, and love it captures audiences in multiple ways. But what can we learn from a deeper look at this classic of Hindi cinema?
71 min
261
Rupa Viswanath, “The Pariah Problem: Caste, Rel...
The so called “Pariah Problem” emerged in public consciousness in the 1890s in India as state officials, missionaries and “upper”caste landlords, among others, struggled to understood the situation of Dalits (those subordinated populations once called ...
33 min
262
Roman Sieler, “Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Med...
Roman Sieler’s

 Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Medicine and Martial Arts in South India (Oxford University Press, 2015) is a fine-grained ethnographic study of varmakkalai–the art of vital spots, a South Indian practice that encompasses both martial and...
75 min
263
Arie L. Molendijk, “Friedrich Max Muller and th...
Arie L. Molendijk is Professor of the History of Christianity and Philosophy in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He has written Friedrich Max Muller and the Sacred Books of the East (Oxford ...
50 min
264
Sangay Mishra, “Desis Divided: The Political Li...
Sangay Mishra is the author of Desis Divided: The Political Lives of South Asian Americans (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Mishra is an assistant professor of political science at Drew University. While the number of South Asian Americans living...
22 min
265
Amanda Lucia, “Reflections of Amma: Devotees in...
Waiting several hours in line for a hug is well worth it for thousands of people, the devotees of the Guru, Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi. In Reflections of Amma: Devotees in a Global Embrace (University of California Press, 2014), Amanda Lucia,
55 min
266
Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Srila Roy, “New Subalter...
New Subaltern Politics: Reconceptualizing Hegemony and Resistance in Contemporary India (Oxford University Press, 2015), edited by Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Srila Roy, is a wonderfully rich and theoretically coherent collection of texts that critically as...
35 min
267
Joyce B. Flueckiger, “When the World Becomes Fe...
Joyce B. Flueckiger‘s new bookWhen the World Becomes Female: Guises of a South Indian Goddess (Indiana University Press, 2013) is a rich and colorful analysis of the goddess Gangamma’s festival and her devotees.
57 min
268
Andrea Jain, “Selling Yoga: From Counterculture...
Is yoga religious? This question has not only been asked recently by the broader public but also posed in the courts. Many argue that of course it is. The story of yoga in the popular imagination is often narrated as an ancient wisdom tradition that in...
63 min
269
Peter Gottschalk, “Religion, Science, and Empir...
When did religion begin in South Asia? Many would argue that it was not until the colonial encounter that South Asians began to understand themselves as religious. In Religion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India (Oxfor...
61 min
270
Barbara Harriss-White, “Dalits and Adivasis in ...
Dalits and Adivasis in India’s Business Economy: Three Essays and an Atlas (Three Essay Collective, 2013) is a wonderful new book by Barbara Harriss-White and small team of collaborators – Elisabetta Basile, Anita Dixit, Pinaki Joddar,
67 min
271
Karen Pechilis, “South Asian Religions: Traditi...
If you’re going to teach a broadly themed survey course, you’ll probably need to assign some readings. One option is to assemble one of those photocopied course readers, full of excerpts taken from different sources. However,
66 min
272
Parna Sengupta, “Pedagogy for Religion: Mission...
What is the relationship between religion, secularization, and education? Parna Sengupta, Associate Director of Introductory Studies at Stanford University, explores their connections as she reexamines the categories religion, empire, and modernity.
69 min
273
Nile Green, “Bombay Islam: The Religious Econom...
Bombay (Mumbai), India, is a city that has never lacked chroniclers from Rudyard Kipling to Salman Rushdie to Suketu Mehta, bards of pluralism have written about Bombay’s divers religions and peoples and the interactions between them.
66 min