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Diaspora of the Gods: Modern Hindu Temples in an Urban by Joanne Punzo Waghorne

By Joanne Punzo Waghorne

Many Hindus this day are city middle-class individuals with many spiritual values in universal with their specialist opposite numbers in the USA or Europe. simply as such a lot of smooth execs proceed to construct new church buildings, synagogues, and mosques, modern Hindus attend to the development and upkeep in their spiritual associations anyplace their paintings and lifestyles takes them. In Diaspora of the Gods, Joanne Punzo Waghorne strains the altering spiritual sensibilities of the Hindu center type. Waghorne leads her readers on a trip in the course of the international of the hot Hindu middle-class, concentrating on their efforts to construct and help locations of worship. She invitations the reader into the neighborhoods of Chennai to view often-innovative new and renovated temples developed in a occasionally probably incongruous city setting. Her trip, besides the fact that, doesn't finish there. The cousins and brothers--literal and figurative--of temple buyers and devotees in Chennai are developing divine homes in another country which are remaking the spiritual landscape of the uk and the USA. Waghorne leads us into the London local of Tooting, mountain climbing upstairs in a former warehouse to work out a Goddess temple made from plywood painted in trompe l'oeuil to create all the good points of a formal temple. somewhere else in London, we meet the God Murugan in a nearly hidden temple immured in the stone shell of a former Church and one other Goddess whose temple is tucked inside of a stunning white church on a quiet highway. In Washington, a multiplicity of Gods stocks an excellent white temple in an differently traditional suburban local. Waghorne deals specific comparisons of those temples, and interviews temple clergymen, devotees, and consumers. within the technique, she illuminates the interrelationships among ritual worship and spiritual edifices, the increase of the trendy global financial system, and the ascendancy of the good center classification. this can be the 1st entire portrait of Hinduism as lived this day via such a lot of either in India and through the international.

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Extra info for Diaspora of the Gods: Modern Hindu Temples in an Urban Middle-Class World

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Cultivating them” can be a complex concept to understand. Anyone building a temple commits in some sense to tradition, but in a very tangible mode. The concern for old values increases as some Hindus in the diaspora try to demarcate their way of life from the surrounding and often seemingly overwhelming cultural ethos of Britain or the United States. The same need to maintain a space for “values” in the face of ultrarapid economic and social change in India likewise motivates the contemporary middle class in urban India.

The engineer came to check and found that it occurred only in one place—directly underneath the sanctum. This amazing phenomenon, which I later clearly heard, was taken as a sign of the special peace around this holy site. 6. The meditation hall just below the sanctum, which echoes with a mysterious sound, nears completion at the new Sri Jagannath Spiritual Cultural Complex. gods in an urban world 33 explain that he modeled this prayer hall on the meditation area at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial located on a small island at Kanyakumari (Cape Cormorin), the tip of India.

A very good case can be made that Madras at its founding and now fits Weber’s criteria for an urban community more exactly than Boston or Manchester. With Fort St. George still the seat of government for the surrounding state of Tamilnadu, with a lively market center in nearby Georgetown, Madras looks the model of a modern city built by and for world trade. Temples now occupy urban residential plots, as I will argue in chapter 1, like houses, not grand estates. And as will become obvious, most new temples are created by and for neighborhood groups—the very multicaste social groups that supposedly cannot exist in caste-controlled India.

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