South Asia

Organized Panel Session

(16) Spaces of Religion in Urban South Asia

3/22/2018
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Marriott Balcony B, Mezzanine Level

This multidisciplinary panel proposes to examine the persistence of religion in South Asian urban contexts as one of the variables in the dynamic interplay of factors that characterizes complex social spaces. The urban spaces discussed in the papers are physical and imagined, institutional and residential, built and landscaped, historical and contemporary, incorporating varying degrees and forms of the religious/spiritual, ranging from invisible and incorporeal to material and explicit. In the panel's first paper, Mary Hancock looks comparatively at the spatial products of Protestant mission in the medieval temple city of Madurai and the more recent port city of Chennai, and at the entwinement of religious interaction and the production of complex urban worlds in colonial India. Smriti Srinivas reflects in her presentation on the relationship between South Asian cities, gardens and religion, and on the ways in which gardens and garden designs with their layered temporalities and multiple mobilities have transformative potential when it comes to our understandings of religion, space and the urban. István Keul examines various levels of multi-religious dwelling in Mumbai neighborhoods, focusing on the importance of religious factors in the everyday interactions of residents and the role played by religion in the forging of neighborly relations. In the fourth paper of the panel, Deonnie Moodie contrasts the more traditional religious spaces and practices in Kolkata's historic downtown with an emerging form of business-school religion in the city's new satellite towns, a form of spirituality described as incorporeal, universal and generically Indian.   

Presentations:

Istvan Keul

University of Bergen, Hordaland, Norway

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Istvan Keul

University of Bergen, Hordaland, Norway

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Mary Hancock

University of California, Santa Barbara, California

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Smriti Srinivas

University of California, Davis, California

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Istvan Keul

University of Bergen, Hordaland, Norway

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Deonnie Moodie

University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma

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Kajri Jain

University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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