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Religion and Conflict in Modern South Asia is one of the first single-author comparisons of different South Asian states around the theme of religious conflict. Based on new research and syntheses of the literature on 'communalism', it argues that religious conflict in this region in the modern period was never simply based on sectarian or theological differences or the clash of civilizations. Instead, the book proposes that the connection between religious radicalism and everyday violence relates to the actual (and perceived) weaknesses of political and state structures. For some, religious and ethnic mobilisation has provided a means of protest, where representative institutions failed. For others, it became a method of dealing with an uncertain political and economic future. For many it has no concrete or deliberate function, but has effectively upheld social stability, paternalism and local power, in the face of globalisation and the growing aspirations of the region's most underprivileged citizens.Read more
- A comparative, integrated analysis of communalism and religious conflict in South Asia
- Contends that sectarianism is a consequence of institutional weakness rather than a clash of civilizations
- Accessible account which will engage students in a range of disciplines including those in South Asian studies, Indian history and religious studies
Reviews & endorsements
"William Gould's work is a major advance in reassessing, on the basis of contemporary understandings, the history of violent intergroup conflicts in the sub-continent."
- Paul R. Brass, University of Washington, Seattle
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- Date Published: December 2011
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521705110
- length: 368 pages
- dimensions: 230 x 152 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.49kg
- contains: 6 maps
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: community and conflict in South Asia
2. Building spheres of community:
3. Transforming spheres of community: the post First World War world
4. Nationalising spheres of community: anti-colonialism and religious politics
5. The 1940s, state transformation, community and conflict
6. National integrity and pluralism, 1947–1967
7. The decades of transformation:
1970s and 1980s
8. The resurgence of religious nationalism:
1990 to the present.
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