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The Guru in South Asia

Copeman, Jacob [u.a.] [Hrsg.]:
The Guru in South Asia : New Interdisciplinary Perspectives / ed. by Jacob Copeman and Aya Ikegame. - London and New York : Routledge, 2012. - xi, 258 S. - (Routledge/Edinburgh South Asian Studies Series)
ISBN 978-0-415-51019-6
£ 90,00 / US$ 150,00
DDC: 206.10954

This book provides a set of fresh and compelling interdisciplinary approaches to the enduring phenomenon of the guru in South Asia. Moving across different gurus and kinds of gurus, and between past and present, the chapters call attention to the extraordinary scope and richness of the social lives and roles of South Asian gurus. Prevailing scholarship has rightly considered the guru to be a source of religious and philosophical knowledge and mystical bodily practices. This book goes further and considers the social engagements and entanglements of these spiritual leaders, not just on their own (narrowly denominational) terms, but in terms of their diverse, complex, rapidly evolving engagements with ‘society’ broadly conceived. The book explores and illuminates the significance of female gurus, gurus from the perspective of Islam, imbrications of guru-ship and slavery in pre-modern India, connections between gurus and power, governance and economic liberalization in modern and contemporary India, vexed questions of sexuality and guru-ship, gurus’ charitable endeavours, the cosmopolitanism of gurus in contexts of spiritual tourism, and the mediation of gurus via technologies of electronic communication. [Verlagsinformation]

List of contributors. ix
Acknowledgements. xii
1. Jacob Copeman and Aya Ikegame:
The Multifarious Guru: An Introduction. 1
2. Aya Ikegame:
The Governing Guru: Hindu Mathas In Liberalising India. 46
3. William R. Pinch:
The Slave Guru: Masters, Commanders, and Disciples In Early Modern South Asia. 64
4. Christophe Jaffrelot:
The Political Guru: The Guru as éminence grise. 80
5. Lawrence Cohen:
The Gay Guru: Fallibility, Unworldliness, and the Scene Of Instruction. 97
6. Karen Pechilis:
The Female Guru: Guru, Gender, and the Path of Personal Experience. 113
7. Veena Das:
The Dreamed Guru: The Entangled Lives of the Amil and the Anthropologist. 133
8. Jacob Copeman:
The Mimetic Guru: Tracing the Real in Sikh-Dera Sacha Sauda Relations. 156
9. Kathinka Frøystad:
The Mediated Guru: Simplicity, Instantaneity and Change in Middle-Class Religious Seeking. 181
10. Meena Khandelwal:
The Cosmopolitan Guru: Spiritual Tourism and Ashrams In Rishikesh. 202
11. Jeremy Morse:
The Literary Guru: The Dual Emphasis on Bhakti and Vidhi In Western Indian Guru-Devotion. 222
12. Daniel Gold:
Continuities As Gurus Change. 241
Index. 255


Jacob Copeman is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Profile page.
Aya Ikegame is Research Associate for the ERC-funded OECUMENE project ‘Citizenship after Orientalism’ at the Open University, UK. Profile page.

Quellen: Routledge; WorldCat; Amazon (UK); Library of Congress; Open ISBN; Google Books
Bildquelle: Routledge
Bibliographie: [1]


  1. Copeman, Jacob [Hrsg.], Ikegame, Aya [Hrsg.] (2012).  The Guru in South Asia: New Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Routledge/Edinburgh South Asian studies series. xi, 258 S.