This collection of representative essays covers a
wide range of issues that define the contours of contemporary Sikh studies and is
a major contribution to the field. Each essay explores a dimension of what
constitutes modern Sikhism - the central concerns of a Sikh identity as well as the
realities of the Sikh diaspora. The symbols and practices as they evolved over
time, the enduring importance of the teachings of the Gurus and their relation to
contemporary influences on Sikhism. The essays explore the conscious
codification of Sikh precepts during the Singh Sabha period and the relationship
between religion and ideology as embodied in modern politico religious
formations like the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee. The doctrinal
issues involving the authority of texts like the Dasam Granth and debates over
authorship are also explored. In this context, the discipline also recognizes the
need for a methodology equipped with tools that approach historical sources
carefully, as in the instance of poetic writing in Persian.
This multidimensional volume highlights the contributions of the leading Sikh
studies scholar W. H. McLeod and brings together both authorities in the
discipline and yound scholars including Pashaura Singh, N. Gerald Barrier,
Nikki-Guninder Kaur Singh, Louis E. Fenech, Robin Reinhart, Tony Ballantyne,
Doris Jakobsh, Arhtur Helweg, and Darshan S. Tatla. It will be useful to scholars,
students, and the general reader interested in issues related to the history of
Sikhism and questions of identity formation of communities.
About the Author:
Pashaura Singh is Assistant Professor of Sikh
Studies and Punjabi Language, University of Michigan. USA.
N. Gerald barrier is Professor of History and a Middlebush Chair in the Social
Sciences. University of Missouri-Columbia
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