Discover recent publications from fellows of the New Zealand India Research Institute.

These books are available to purchase from Amazon, Book Depository, and direct from the publisher.

The Emergence of Modern Hinduism

Dr. Rick Weiss, NZIRI Fellow and Associate Professor of South Asian Religions at Victoria University of Wellington, publishes his second book, The Emergence of Modern Hinduism: Religion on the Margins of Colonialism (August 2019).

The Emergence of Modern Hinduism argues for the importance of regional, vernacular innovation in processes of Hindu modernisation. Scholars usually trace the emergence of modern Hinduism to cosmopolitan reform movements, producing accounts that overemphasise the centrality of elite religion and the influence of Western ideas and models.

In this study, the author considers religious change on the margins of colonialism by looking at an important local figure, the Tamil Shaiva poet and mystic Ramalinga Swami (1823–1874). Weiss narrates a history of Hindu modernisation that demonstrates the transformative role of Hindu ideas, models, and institutions, making this text essential for scholarly audiences of South Asian history, religious studies, Hindu studies, and South Asian studies.

The book is open access and free to download.

Rick Weiss, The Emergence of Modern Hinduism: Religion on the Margins of Colonialism (University of California Press, 2019).

Indians and the Antipodes

This is the first book that seeks to juxtapose histories of Indian migration to Australia and New Zealand in a comparative framework to show their interconnectedness as well as dissimilarities. Side by side with stories of collective suffering and struggles of the diaspora, it focuses on individual resilience, enterprise and social mobility.

It analyses 'White Australia' and 'White New Zealand' policies of the early twentieth century to point to their interconnected histories. It also looks critically at the more recent migration, its changing nature and the challenges it poses to both the migrant communities and the host societies

Sekhar Bandyopadhyay and Jane Buckingham (eds.) Indians and the Antipodes: Networks, Boundaries, and Circulation (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Religion and Modernity in India

Modernity, which emphasizes the relegation of religion firmly to an individual's private life, is a challenging idea for any culture. In India it faces a particularly unusual problem: the persistence of numerous traditional and religious practices means that religion and modernity co-habit here in a complex, plural, transient, and historically evolving relationship.

Religion and Modernity in India explores this complex relationship through a series of case studies on the quotidian experiences of people practising a variety of religions. It presents the dynamically interacting textures of society engaging with modernity in divergent ways, both historically and in contemporary times.

The essays in this collection consciously bring in the idea of inclusivity by factoring in the small and local contexts. They raise important questions about marginality and sexuality, and discuss the oral and cultural traditions of both mainstream and marginal communities such as tribal communities and women. In doing so, they put forward the perspectives of groups that represent difference but at the same time are linked to a larger whole.

Sekhar Bandyopadhyay and Aloka Parasher Sen (Eds.), Religion and Modernity in India (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Globalisation and the Challenges of Development in Contemporary India

This volume brings together multidisciplinary, situated and nuanced analyses of contingent issues framing a rapidly changing India in the 21st century. It moves beyond the ready dichotomies that are often extended to understand India as a series of contrasts and offers new insights into the complex realities of India today, thereby enabling us to anticipate the decades to come.

The editors focus on three major themes, each discussed in a section.

The first section, Framing the Macro-Economic Environment, defines the framework for interrogating globalisation and socio-economic changes in India over the last few decades of the 20th century spiraling into India in the 21st century.

The next section, Food Security and Natural Resources, highlights critical considerations involved in feeding a burgeoning population. The discussions pose important questions in relation to the resilience of both people and planet confronting increasingly unpredictable climate-induced scenarios.

The final section, Development, Activism and Changing Technologies, discusses some of the social challenges of contemporary India through the lens of inequalities and emergent activisms. The section concludes with an elaboration of the potential and promise of changing technologies and new social media to build an informed and active citizenry across existing social divides.

Sita Venkateswar and Sekhar Bandyopadhyay (Eds.), Globalisation and the Challenges of Development in Contemporary India (Springer, 2016).