Lecture tag: Diaspora

Hindu Pilgrimage Sites and Processions Rituals in the Diasporas

In this lecture I present and analyze procession and pilgrimage sites and rituals in the Hindu diasporas. These two forms of public rituals are related as processions are often part of festivals and the majority of pilgrims often arrive on the festivals’ main procession day. In the lecture I argue that one Hindu response to diaspora is to establish new sacred sites. In the diasporas Hindus continue the tradition of South Asian Hinduism of establishing new pilgrimage sites based on lives of sacred persons and visions, embodiments and other encounters with Hindu divinities. The paper argues that Hindus connect to space in a way that sacralize space wherever they live and that establishing new pilgrimage sites sanctions the new space as sacred and establishes an alternative or an additional sacred geography to those in their ancestral homelands.

Prof. Knut A. Jacobsen is Professor of the Study of Religion at the University of Bergen and specialises in the religions of India. He is also a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. He has published around 40 books as author or editor, and is the editor-in-chief of the landmark six-volume work Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Prof. Jacobsen obtained his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1994, and has been professor at the University of Bergen since 1996. His main areas of research is the Hindu philosophical schools of Sāṃkhya and Yoga, especially in its classical forms but also exploring how these traditions survive in the modern world. In addition, he has also written extensively on the practice of pilgrimage in South Asia, and on the migration of South Asian religions, especially in Europe.

Hinduism’s Transnational Diasaporias*: the view from Oceania (HT11)

(*aporias of diaspora)

Purushottama Bilimoria, PhD is Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Studies at Deakin University in Australia and Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne. Visiting Professor and Lecturer at University of California, Berkeley and Dominican University, San Anselmo, and Shivadasani Fellow of Oxford University. His areas of specialist research and publications cover classical Indian philosophy and comparative ethics; Continental thought; cross-cultural philosophy of religion, diaspora studies; bioethics, and personal law in India. He is an Editor-in-Chief of Sophia, Journal of Philosophy of Religion, Springer. He also edits a book series with Springer on Sophia: cross-cultural studies in Culture and Traditions, Recent publication is Indian Ethics I, Ashgate 2007; OUP 2008, and Sabdapramana: Word and Knowledge (Testimony) in Indian Philosophy (revised reprint), Delhi: DK PrintWorld 2008; ‘Nietzsche as ‘Europe’s Buddha’ and Asia’s Superman, Sophia, vol 47/3 2008; Postcolonial Philosophy of Religion (with Andrew Irvine, Ken Surin et al) Springer 2009. Teaches and publishes on Hindu religious philosophies. Also works on political philosophy, pertaining to ethics of rights, theories of justice, capabilities, education and gender issues in third world, particularly South Asian, contexts.

Hindus in the diaspora: Their histories and traditions (six lectures)

This lecture series includes a general survey of the histories of Hindu communities outside India. The series will focus on the development and the maintenance of their traditions. More specifically the series will unpack issues related to the contemporary understanding of Hinduism and the implications that the developments of Diaspora Hinduism have on how we conceptualise Hinduism. The discourse will look at the orientalist constructions through classical texts and the predominantly oral traditions that have influenced the diaspora Hinduism. It will raise methodological and theoretical issues in conceptualising Hinduism.