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Religion and Modernity in India$
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Sekhar Bandyopadhyay and Aloka Parasher Sen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199467785

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199467785.001.0001

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Locating the Self, Community, and the Nation

Locating the Self, Community, and the Nation

Writing the History of the Śrīvaiṣṇavas of South India

(p.84) 4 Locating the Self, Community, and the Nation
Religion and Modernity in India

Ranjeeta Dutta

Oxford University Press

The chapter focuses on the Śrīvaiṣṇavas in the Tamil region and discusses their reinvention of religious identity through the modernization process in colonial south India. It argues that there was the development of multiple indigenous modernities through which the educated middle class recast their traditions through the frame of religious identities. The Śrīvaiṣṇava modernity generated a specific consciousness of belonging to a religious community and, within that consciousness, the Brahmanical status was reiterated and related to the larger subcontinental Brahmanical identity. This modern community consciousness was further linked to the larger discourse of Tamil tradition, Hinduism, and the nation. Consequently, a modern public sphere was created in which the brāhmaṇa Śrīvaiṣṇava self influenced the modern discipline of history.

Keywords:   south India, Tamil, Śrīvaiṣṇava, Hinduism, nation, modernity, religion, social reform

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