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Diaspora of the GodsModern Hindu Temples in an Urban Middle-Class World$
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Joanne Punzo Waghorne

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195156638

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195156638.001.0001

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Making Space for God/s in an Urban World

(p.231) Conclusion/s
Diaspora of the Gods

Joanne Punzo Waghorne (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Three general reconfigurations of sacred space — sometimes interlocking, sometimes in tension — emerge from the new style and sensibilities of contemporary global Hindu temples with implications for the general history of religions. The first is the emergence of a new sense of the sacred sphere, of temple space within an urban environment dominated by the ownership of houses and not land or even natural phenomenon. Second, even the architecture of both space and the polity of new temples reflects democratic models of civic organizations, which leads to new space for lectures and education. Third, complex middle-class religious sensibilities emerge within the temples, which affect the style and polity of the temple and even the faces of the deities, often creating a new visual theology. How will these living sacred spaces of the temple matter for historians of religions? Will this kind of public, and in many ways empirical, sacrality once again challenge the field to reconsider material sacrality?

Keywords:   sacred space, global Hindu temples, visual theology, material sacrality

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