Provincial Hinduism explores intersecting religious worlds in an ordinary Indian city that remains close to its traditional roots, while bearing witness to the impact of globalization. Daniel Gold looks at modern religious life in the central Indian city of Gwalior, drawing attention to the often complex religious sensibilities behind ordinary Hindu practice. Gold describes temples of different types, their legendary histories, and the people who patronize
them. He also explores the attraction of Sufi shrines for many Gwalior Hindus. Delicate issues of socioreligious identity are highlighted through an examination of neighbors living together in a locality mixed in religion, caste, and class. Pursuing issues of community and identity, Gold turns to Gwalior's
Maharashtrians and Sindhis, groups with roots in other parts of the subcontinent that have settled in the city for generations. These groups function as internal diasporas, organizing in different ways and making distinctive contributions to local religious life. The book concludes with a focus on new religious institutions invoking nineteenth-century innovators: three religious service organizations inspired by the great Swami Vivekenanda, and two contemporary guru-centered groups tracing
lineages to Radhasoami Maharaj of Agra.
Gold offers the first book-length study to analyze religious life in an ordinary, midsized Indian city, and in so doing has created an invaluable resource for scholars of contemporary Indian religion, culture, and society.
Daniel Gold grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1968. After several years in India, mostly as a Peace Corps Volunteer, he did graduate work at the University of Chicago and has taught at Vassar, Oberlin, Stanford, and Cornell, where he is now Professor of South Asian Religions. He is married to the anthropologist Ann Grodzins Gold.
On Hearing the Transliteration ; Introduction ; Part I: A City in History with Temples and Shrines ; 1. Temples in the City ; 2. Sufi Shrines for Hindu Devotees ; Part II: Community and Identity ; 3. Living Together in a Working-Class Neighborhood: Caste, Class, and Personal Affinities ; 4. Ethnic Communities and Regional Hinduisms: Maharashtrian and Sindhi ; Part III: Institutions and Personalities ; 5. Hindu Ways of Organized Service: Legacies of Swami Vivekananda ; 6. Gurus, Disciples, and Ashrams: Beyond Radhasoami ; Afterword: Personal Religious Identity in a Pluralist Society ; Permissions ; Acknowledgments ; Notes