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Religious pluralism and processes of individualisation in Hinduism


Malinar, Angelika (2015). Religious pluralism and processes of individualisation in Hinduism. Religion, 45(3):386-408.

Abstract

The paper explores the interconnection between religious pluralisation and processes of individualisation in India by focusing on the emergence of religious alternatives to Vedic ritualism in the centuries around the beginning of the Common Era. Criticism of established religious goals and practices voiced by individuals was accompanied by an increasing interest in the structures of individual existence. The conceptualisation of the individual in the philosophical and religious literature of the period is an important aspect of establishing new religious pathways with ideas of self, agency and personal relatedness being of central concern. On the basis of different doctrines religious options gained acceptance which allow individuals to pursue their religious aspirations either apart from or parallel to the ritual-social obligations in the context of caste-hierarchy. The new religious options gravitate towards institutionalisation in the form of religious communities (sampradāya). These are not only important elements in organising Hindu religious pluralism, but also allow for recurrent processes of religious individualisation.

Abstract

The paper explores the interconnection between religious pluralisation and processes of individualisation in India by focusing on the emergence of religious alternatives to Vedic ritualism in the centuries around the beginning of the Common Era. Criticism of established religious goals and practices voiced by individuals was accompanied by an increasing interest in the structures of individual existence. The conceptualisation of the individual in the philosophical and religious literature of the period is an important aspect of establishing new religious pathways with ideas of self, agency and personal relatedness being of central concern. On the basis of different doctrines religious options gained acceptance which allow individuals to pursue their religious aspirations either apart from or parallel to the ritual-social obligations in the context of caste-hierarchy. The new religious options gravitate towards institutionalisation in the form of religious communities (sampradāya). These are not only important elements in organising Hindu religious pluralism, but also allow for recurrent processes of religious individualisation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies
08 University Research Priority Programs > Asia and Europe
Dewey Decimal Classification:180 Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy
290 Other religions
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:03 Nov 2015 11:52
Last Modified:21 Nov 2017 18:03
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0048-721X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/0048721X.2015.1024038

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