Catalogue

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Utopias in conflict : religion and nationalism in modern India /
Ainslie T. Embree.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1990.
description
xiv, 144 p. --
ISBN
0520068661 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1990.
isbn
0520068661 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
1504687
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Embree is much against prevailing views of India, and that is good in stirring thought. I have modified my views about pluralism in India as a result of reading this book. Embree raises important and prickly questions."--Ninian Smart, University of California, Santa Barbara "Especially significant about this work is its focus upon 'fundamentalistic' elements within both religions and nationalisms which are now competing for dominance in South Asia. With rising concern over many kinds of fundamentalism in South Asia, this very sensitive analysis of the roots of another form of fundamentalism, which has strong ties to indigenous culture in South India, is especially timely."--Robert Frykenberg, University of Wisconsin
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1991-04:
Embree, author and editor of numerous works on Indian political and religious history as well as editor of the Encyclopedia of Asian History (CH, Jun'88) is a historian whose views are worth considering. This book is a lightly documented, readable, interpretive collection of essays on the nature of communal conflict and its implications for the future of nationalism and the secular state in India. It will be valuable for those seeking an understanding of the conflicts among Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs that make up so much of the news from India. Embree maintains that the Muslims, Sikhs, and other religious groups who reject the secular nature of the state are not reactionaries but radicals who have an alternative vision of the ideal future for the nation. He questions the truism that Hinduism is a tolerant religion. He sees Hindus as simply the largest communal group that rejects a Western-style separation of religion and politics. What others interpret as Hindu toleration Embree calls encapsulation. Historically, Hindus have isolated themselves from those, including truly secular Indians, who have different views from their own. The effects of modern secular attitudes may continue to be limited to a few growing urban centers. College and university libraries. -J. W. Webb, Eastern Kentucky University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1991
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Summaries
Long Description
This compact, incisive study by a senior scholar provides a new look at two issues which have polarized India over the last decades: religion and nationalism. Embree shows how the relatively modern Western notions of religion and nationalism have been thrust on the Third World and examines how Hindu civilization has resisted such cultural incursions. He argues that the tension generated by competing visions of the just society has been the determining factor in the social and political life of India during this century, showing how the political aspects of religion and the ideological character of nationalism has led inexorably and unfortunately to conflict. Further, the author asserts that in India, as elsewhere in the world at the end of the twentieth century, religions have legitimized violence as people struggle for what they regard as their just claims upon the future. As examples of the tension around religion and nationalism, he examines in detail two recent, explosive cases--one involving Muslim-Hindu communal encounters, the other, the separatist movement of Sikhs. Utopias In Conflictgracefully and elegantly illuminates current issues in South Asian politics and contributes considerably to the broader discussion of fundamentalism and religious violence in the Third World. Thought-provoking and searching, this work should interest anyone concerned about fundamentalism, the problems of national integration, and politics and religion in the Third World.
Main Description
This compact, incisive study by a senior scholar provides a new look at two issues which have polarized India over the last decades: religion and nationalism. Embree shows how the relatively modern Western notions of religion and nationalism have been thrust on the Third World and examines how Hindu civilization has resisted such cultural incursions. He argues that the tension generated by competing visions of the just society has been the determining factor in the social and political life of India during this century, showing how the political aspects of religion and the ideological character of nationalism has led inexorably and unfortunately to conflict. Further, the author asserts that in India, as elsewhere in the world at the end of the twentieth century, religions have legitimized violence as people struggle for what they regard as their just claims upon the future. As examples of the tension around religion and nationalism, he examines in detail two recent, explosive cases--one involving Muslim-Hindu communal encounters, the other, the separatist movement of Sikhs. Utopias In Conflict gracefully and elegantly illuminates current issues in South Asian politics and contributes considerably to the broader discussion of fundamentalism and religious violence in the Third World. Thought-provoking and searching, this work should interest anyone concerned about fundamentalism, the problems of national integration, and politics and religion in the Third World.

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