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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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Hindu Temples in the New World System, 1640–1800

Hindu Temples in the New World System, 1640–1800

(p.35) 1 Hindu Temples in the New World System, 1640–1800
Diaspora of the Gods

Joanne Punzo Waghorne (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The attention given to the 19th century in contemporary postcolonial studies skews the discussion of modernization and religion toward ideologies not materialities. Refocusing on the late 16th century during the rise of the new world system shows Hindu temples emerging as key institutions in the resettlement and reorientation of Indian Hindus in the new global economy. The key players were classic bourgeoisie, a multi-caste group of “merchants” in the East India Company. These merchants resembled their British counterparts in their rising status within their respective societies at home and their shared society in “Blacktown”. Through the use of archival maps, a reconfiguration of the Hindus temples becomes visible within this new urban space. The pattern of deities and the basic styles of their new homes — eclectic and duplicated — prefigure contemporary temples built within Chennai but also abroad in this new era of geo-culture and geo-economics (Wallerstein).

Keywords:   world systems, East India Company, Blacktown, eclectic temples, duplicated temples, geo-culture, geo-economics, Wallerstein

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