The Construction of Religious Boundaries
Culture, Identity, and Diversity in the Sikh Tradition
In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, however, the Singh Sabha, a powerful new Sikh movement, began to view the multiplicity in Sikh identity with suspicion and hostility. Aided by social and cultural forces unleashed by the British Raj, the Singh Sabha sought to recast Sikh tradition and purge it of diversity. The ethnocentric logic of a new elite dissolved alternative ideals under the highly codified culture of modern Sikhism.
A study of the process by which a pluralistic religious world view is replaced by a monolithic one, this important book calls into question basic assumptions about the efficacy of fundamentalist claims and the construction of all social and religious identities. An essential book for the field of South Asian religions, this work is also an important contribution to cultural anthropology, postcolonial studies, and the history of religion in general.
American Academy of Religion: AAR Best First Book in the History of Religions
American Academy of Religion: American Academy of Religion Awards for Excellence
Note on Orthography
1: Boundaries and Transgressions: The Khalsa Normative Tradition
2: Sanatan Tradition and its Transmission: Gurus, Saints, Ascetics, and Scholars
3: An Enchanted Universe: Sikh Participation in Popular Religion
4: Conserving Sanatan Sikh Tradition: The Foundation of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha
5: The Interpretive Process: The Expansion of the Singh Sabhas
6: A New Social Imagination: The Making of the Tat Khalsa
7: Resistance and Counter-resistance: The Triumph of Praxis
Appendix: Singh Sabhas Established Between 1873 and 1900