Textures of the Sikh Past: New Historical Perspectives

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Tony Ballantyne
Oxford University Press, 2007 - Religion - 328 pages
This collection focuses on new directions in Sikh and Punjab studies. Discussing major themes and developments affecting Sikhs around the world, it assesses Sikh studies as it stands today and offers new perspectives on Sikh culture and history. It provides an understanding of how modern Sikhism has evolved, with particular attention to historical documents, changes in the colonial period, varied yet intertwined experiences of Sikhs in the diaspora, and, finally a concern for contemporarychanges and issues facing Sikhs as a whole. The essays examine a widely divergent terrain of sacred texts and popular culture, the transformation of Punjab under British rule and contemporary developments, local histories, and social issues that concern the Panth as a whole. They are united, however, by a deep concern with the 'texture' of Sikh history: the ways in which space, time, social structures and political systems have shaped the development of the Panth. Many of the essays demonstrate a keen interest in specificity, leading to the production of carefully contextualized studies appreciating the forces, processes, and structures that have conditioned Sikh history. In assessing these multiple histories and divergent social formations the essays not only highlight the richness and complexity in the texture of Sikhism's history, but also identify new archives and looks ahead to new ways of imagining the Sikh past. With contributions from prominent scholars, many of them well-known OUP authors, like Hew McLeod, N.G. Barrier, Pashaura Singh, and Louis Fenech, this volume will have a wide market amongst scholars, students, and general readers interested in religious studies, Sikh studies, diaspora studies, social anthropology; politics, history, South Asia studies, and cultural studies, as well as libraries and institutions.

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About the author (2007)

Tony Ballantyne is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.

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