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Religion, aesthetics, and hurt sentiment: on the visibility and erasure of a Muslim minority in India


Binder, Stefan (2020). Religion, aesthetics, and hurt sentiment: on the visibility and erasure of a Muslim minority in India. In: Balkenhol, Markus; van den Hemel, Ernst; Stengs, Irene. The secular sacred : emotions of belonging and the perils of nation and religion. Cham: Springer (Bücher), 69-87.

Abstract

This contribution places public religious rituals of Shia Muslims in the South Indian city of Hyderabad within the context of Indian secularism as a historically specific instance of the secular sacred. Secularism in India is often understood as a socio-political formation in which public and communal forms of religious identity are foundational for national belonging. However, the seeming compatibility of the secular and the sacred within Indian secularism is undercut by a majoritarian representational regime, which requires minorities to embody a religious identity that simultaneously threatens to become the principle of their exclusion from the nation. The chapter retraces this precarious dynamic by analyzing how the spectacular aesthetics, hypervisibility, and contested interpretations of certain Shia mourning rituals may engender forms of erasure that jeopardize the secular-sacred—and therein national—identity of Shia Muslims as a religious minority.

Abstract

This contribution places public religious rituals of Shia Muslims in the South Indian city of Hyderabad within the context of Indian secularism as a historically specific instance of the secular sacred. Secularism in India is often understood as a socio-political formation in which public and communal forms of religious identity are foundational for national belonging. However, the seeming compatibility of the secular and the sacred within Indian secularism is undercut by a majoritarian representational regime, which requires minorities to embody a religious identity that simultaneously threatens to become the principle of their exclusion from the nation. The chapter retraces this precarious dynamic by analyzing how the spectacular aesthetics, hypervisibility, and contested interpretations of certain Shia mourning rituals may engender forms of erasure that jeopardize the secular-sacred—and therein national—identity of Shia Muslims as a religious minority.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
Language:English
Date:2020
Deposited On:31 Jan 2021 16:25
Last Modified:22 Jan 2024 16:27
Publisher:Springer (Bücher)
Series Name:Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series
ISSN:2947-6100
ISBN:978-3-030-38049-6
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-38050-2_4
Related URLs:https://uzb.swisscovery.slsp.ch/permalink/41SLSP_UZB/1j14kmp/alma99116886049305508 (Library Catalogue)
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-38050-2
Other Identification Number:Online ISBN: 978-3-030-38050-2