Struggles for Hindu Sacred Space in the Netherlands: Anguish and Absence - Priya Swamy; | Foyles Bookstore
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Struggles for Hindu Sacred Space in the Netherlands: Anguish and Absence
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Struggles for Hindu Sacred Space in the Netherlands: Anguish and Absence (Hardback)

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This book asks us to consider what is absent, rather than what is present, when studying religions. Priya Swamy argues that absent religious spaces are in themselves abstract locations that painfully memorialize feelings of shame, oppression and marginalisation. She shows that these 'traumas of absence' - the complex, entwined and emotional responses to absent spaces - can be articulated through mob violence and destruction, but also anticolonial struggles or human rights issues.

This study focusses on the absence of temples across the global Hindu diaspora, taking the tumultuous narrative of the Devi Dhaam community in Amsterdam Southeast as an ethnographic case study to detail the over thirty year struggle to build a Hindu temple in a neighbourhood of vibrant mosques and churches. In 2010, their makeshift space was pulled away from them, provoking tears among elderly devotees, rage among board members and utter devastation in the wider community. Leaving their goddess with no place to live, devotees feared for the dangerous repercussions that would follow from uprooting a divine presence from its home.

By exploring the ways in which the trauma of absent religious spaces has become a formative aspect of localised but also globalised Hindu identity, this book rethinks the way that empty lots, piles of rubble and abandoned buildings around the world are themselves powerful monuments to the trauma of absent temple spaces that mobilise campaigns for Hindu spaces.

Architecture & DesignArchitectureReligious buildingsPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesAnthropologySocial & cultural anthropologyReligion & BeliefsHinduismHindu life & practiceReligion & BeliefsHinduismHindu worship, rites & ceremonies Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC Publication Date: 14/07/2022 ISBN-13: 9781350079069  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Pre-order for despatch on publication. Pre-Order

Priya Swamy is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

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