"Tapping into Hindu powers" : the local factor in Krishna and Shiva worship in Ghana.
Wuaku, Albert Kafui.
556 leaves.
Microform, Thesis
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Electronic version licensed for access by U. of T. users.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 65-05, Section: A, page: 1822.
dissertation note
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Toronto, 2004.
general note
Adviser: Martin Klein.
The thesis demonstrates the crucial role of indigenous agency in the translocation of Hinduism in Ghanaian communities. I define agency in a broad sense to include local people, indigenous media forms and other cultural processes that facilitate the spread and receptivity of the Hindu religious tradition in Ghana. I establish a connection between the appeal of Hindu religious beliefs and practices in Ghana and the moral, cultural, and socio-economic dislocations that the late 20th and early 21st century globalization has wrought on Ghanaian people. I argue that in the face of this crisis some Ghanaian people are turning to Hinduism for new symbols of meaning, a sense of spiritual protection, and a new moral vision of the world.This thesis documents the story of Hinduism in Ghana told primary from the perspectives of its followers. The study uncovers some of the motivations underlying conversions to Hinduism and how converts in Ghana understand the experience. The data are from interviews with 97 Ghanaian Hindus drawn from two temple communities. It also involved participant observation of Hindu ritual performances and other devotional activities in Ghana. The study draws on socio-anthropological perspectives and themes from earlier African conversion arguments to make sense of the observations and the narratives of Ghana's "new Hindus."The study also demonstrates the give-and-take process that underlies conversion to Hinduism in Ghana. Hindu religion is introducing changes into Ghanaian communities while at the same time undergoing changes itself by absorbing elements of Ghanaian religiosity. Also, hybrid religious forms are emerging as Hindu religion interacts with the existing religious culture of Ghana. Finally, the study demonstrates the value of placing the voices of converts themselves at the center of analyses of conversion in African communities.
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