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Rethinking Religious Divides

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 June 2014

Extract

Notwithstanding the considerable body of scholarship on South Asian history that has appeared over the past several decades, we still live with the image of a monolithic and alien Islam colliding with an equally monolithic Hinduism, construed as indigenous, and from the eleventh century on, politically suppressed. Such a cardboard-cutout caricature survives in much of India's tabloid media, as well as in textbooks informed by a revivalist, aggressively political strand of Hinduism, or “Hindutva.” Though useful for stoking primordial identities or mobilizing support for political agendas, this caricature thrives on a pervasive ignorance of South Asia's past. Removing such ignorance is precisely the endeavor to which academic institutions, and scholarship more generally, are properly committed.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 2014 

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References

1 Larson, Gerald James, “Partition: The ‘Pulsing Heart that Grieved,’Journal of Asian Studies 73, no. 1 (2014): 58CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Asif, Manan Ahmed, “Idols in the Archive,Journal of Asian Studies 73, no. 1 (2014): 916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

2 Larson, “Partition,” op. cit. note 1, 5, 7.

3 Ibid., 6.

4 Larson, Gerald James, India's Agony Over Religion (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995).Google Scholar

5 Ibid., 53, 103.

6 Huntington, Samuel P., “The Clash of Civilizations?Foreign Affairs 72, no. 3 (1993): 2249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

7 Larson, India's Agony, op. cit. note 1, 6.

8 See Dirlik, Arif, “The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in the Age of Global Capitalism,” Critical Inquiry 20, no. 2 (1994): 348–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar; During, Simon, “Postmodernism or Postcolonialism?Landfall 39 (1985): 366–80Google Scholar; Ahmad, Aijaz, In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures (London: Verso, 1992), 95105Google Scholar, and chap. 8; McClintock, Anne, “The Angel of Progress: Pitfalls of the Term ‘Post-Colonialism,’Social Text 31/32 (1992): 8498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

9 For examples, see the articles in Gilmartin, David and Lawrence, Bruce B., eds., Beyond Turk and Hindu: Rethinking Religious Identities in Islamicate South Asia (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2000)Google Scholar. See also Roy, Asim, The Islamic Syncretistic Tradition in Bengal (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983)Google Scholar; Talbot, Cynthia, “Inscribing the Other, Inscribing the Self: Hindu-Muslim Identities in Pre-Colonial India,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 37, no. 4 (1995): 692722CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Stewart, Tony K., “In Search of Equivalence: Conceiving Muslim-Hindu Encounter through Translation Theory,” History of Religions 40, no. 3 (2001): 260–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Thapar, Romila, Somanatha: The Many Voices of a History (New York: Verso, 2005)Google Scholar; Flood, Finbarr B., Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval “Hindu-Muslim” Encounter (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009)Google Scholar; Busch, Allison, Poetry of Kings: The Classical Hindi Literature of Mughal India (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; O'Hanlon, Rosalind and Washbrook, David, Religious Cultures of Early Modern India: New Perspectives (New Delhi: Routledge, 2011)Google Scholar; Behl, Aditya, Love's Subtle Magic: An Indian Islamic Literary Tradition, 1379–1545 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

10 Behl, op cit. note 9.

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