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Life and Work of Guru Arjan$
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Pashaura Singh

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195679212

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195679212.001.0001

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Reconstructing a Religious Biography

Reconstructing a Religious Biography

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Reconstructing a Religious Biography
Source:
Life and Work of Guru Arjan
Author(s):

Pashaura Singh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195679212.003.0001

This chapter provides a backdrop for the entire study and lays down its foundation by addressing/defining the basic issues and concepts related to religious biographies. It not only explores the nature of religious biographies but also contrasts them with hagiographies. It discusses the approaches adopted by scholars like Frank E. Raynolds, Donald Capps, John Dominic Crossan, and W. H. McLeod. It also looks at the major trends in recent scholarship, in Sikh studies, and analyses the shift from the search for the historical figure to the current focus on memory, tradition, and representation. In reconstructing this religious biography, a multidisciplinary approach is used which encompasses insights from a variety of disciplines ranging from history to anthropology, sociology, and literary and textual studies. Before proceeding, the chapter defines certain terms and concepts such as ‘myth’, ‘culture’, tradition, and ‘hermeneutics’.

Keywords:   religious biography, hagiography, Frank E. Raynolds, Donald Capps, John Dominic Crossan, W. H. McLeod, Sikh studies, myth, hermeneutics

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