About the Book:
In Hindu Pluralism, Elaine M. Fisher complicates the traditional scholarly narrative
of the unification of Hinduism. By calling into question the colonial categories
implicit in the term 'sectarianism', Fisher's work excavates the pluralistic
textures of precolonial Hinduism in the centuries prior to British intervention.
Drawing on previously unpublished sources in Sanskrit, Tamil, and Telugu, Fisher
argues that the performance of plural religious identities in public space in
Indian early modernity paved the way for the emergence of a distinctively non-Western
form of religious pluralism. This work provides a critical resource for understanding
how Hinduism developed in the early modern period, a crucial era that set the
tenor for religion's role in public life in India through the present day.
Acknowledgements / Introduction / Hindu Sectarianism: Difference in
Unity / "Just Like Kalidasa": The Making of the Smarta-Saiva Community
of South India / Public Philology: Constructing Sectarian Identities in Early
Modern South India / The Language Games of Siva: Mapping Text and Space in Public
Religious Culture / Conclusion: A Prehistory of Hindu Pluralism / Appendix /
Notes / Bibliography / Index.
About the Author:
Elaine M. Fisher is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies
at Stanford University.