Research Papers/Topics in Religious Studies And Theology

Representing Identity

 In this paper I shall demonstrate through the case study of Nanaimo Sikh community how significantly they view their religious orientation as opposed to their ethnic identification. I will point to some implications for them within the Canadian society as a result of them being primarily seen as one among many religious groups.

Religious Pluralism and Religious Education

In this essay, I outline the complexities of the contemporary SouthAfrican society and point out why the so called Christian majority’scall for a single faith approach to teaching religion in schools will notmake a great deal of sense within the context of the Bill of Rights ofthe South African constitution. Besides, the issue of religion educationin South Africa is not only a human rights issue but also a moral issue.

Politics of Defining Hindu texts

In the context of rightwing student protest on Delhi University campus in 2011 to demand the withdrawal of an essay written by Prof A K Ramanujan, there developed a politico-legal situation in which students deployed both political pressure as well as legal suit to achieve their goal. This incident raised not only questions of political involvement in defining what Hinduism should be and how its sacred texts ought to be read, but the debate also attempted to shape the ‘sacred text’ by car...

Insiders and Outsiders

In this essay, I look at the contemporary debate on the study of religion as to where it is in the academy. Second, in relation to that I look at the debates on the study of Hinduism. I then examine the issue of “who speaks for Hinduism” and whether Hinduism is a case of exception in the study of religion. In conclusion I suggest that Hinduism is a case in point in learning about our comparative project in the study of religion. My line of argument in this essay is based on the premise th...

Freedom in Bhavagad Gita

In this paper, I attempt to clarify the idea of freedom in the Gītā using two important categories found both in the Gītā as well as in the Sāṃkhya philosophical system—Buddhi and Sattva. Much of the liberation idea that is often spoken of in the context of many modern Hindu movements is drawn from the Bhagavad Gītā. There is so much looseness to their ideas that it is necessary to explore what the Gītā actually means by its notion of freedom. Additionally, Gītā is often presen...

Hinduism in Africa

In presenting Hinduism in Africa, the essay limits itself to three important regions—East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania), Southern Africa (South Africa) and West Africa (Ghana). The reason for this limitation is that although there are Hindus throughout Africa presently as India begins to expand its trade with Africa, the three regions mentioned have come to represent the vibrant emergence of Hinduism on the African continent unparalleled with countries elsewhere in Africa. Contact be...

Hinduism and the Master Narrative

The study of Hinduism is dominated by brahmanical master narrative. In this essay I suggest alternative ways to study Hinduism. Documenting diverse regional narratives andextracting Hindu practices from these narratives is a startingpoint. In doing so, reliance on fieldwork-based narrativesthat provide insight into the different orientations byavoiding the temptation to subordinate the local andregional narratives to an overarching master narrativewould help us understand the many aspects and...