Vision Statement for the Indian Traditions Section

Here at Religion Compass, we’re delighted to announce the recent appointment of Meena Khandelwal as co-editor of our Indian Traditions section. Meena will be joining Maya Warrier as they both set about commissioning several new state-of-the-art articles every year on themes of most concern and interest to students and researchers in the area. Below, Maya and Meena outline their vision for the section.

Indian Traditions section – Editors’ Vision

Meena Khandelwal
The University of Iowa

Maya Warrier
University of Wales Trinity Saint David

[Download the PDF version here]

The ‘Indian Traditions’ section of Religion Compass addresses scholarship on religious traditions that have either originated in the Indian subcontinent, or have originated elsewhere and found a home in India. Though the section title points to a bounded geographical focus, the editors wish to emphasise the importance of looking through and beyond the nation-state to map cross-border movements of religious ideas, practices, persons, and objects. Thus, even while recognising the continuing importance of the nation-state, we would additionally welcome state-of-the-field contributions examining transnational aspects of Indian religious traditions, as well as Indian traditions in diaspora contexts. We recognise that the circulation of meanings, practices, resources and objects is not uni-directional and so wish to highlight research that points to the multiple ways in which Indian traditions have influenced non-Indian contexts, and non-Indian influences have shaped Indian traditions.

While retaining this tension between geographically-defined area studies and transnationalism, we are particularly interested in current research that addresses the ways in which religious ideas and practices are implicated in various domains of power. We welcome contributions on topics related to political economy: caste, electoral politics, minority-majority dynamics, neoliberal policies, religious organizations and development, charitable giving and volunteerism, and the law. We also invite surveys of research on topics related to gender and sexuality: masculinity and femininity, heterosexualities, and non-dominant sexualities. Contributions to this section are not limited to any particular discipline or method; we aim for the widest possible disciplinary and methodological coverage and include within our remit text-based approaches, fieldwork-based approaches, and contributions surveying, for instance, developments in Religious Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, History, Political Science, Gender Studies, and Media Studies.

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