The dual foci for this collection of the author's most important writings are Swaminarayan Hinduism and South Asian immigrants in the United States. Both are topics of wide and growing interest in India and in many countries where South Indians have settled. Swaminarayan Hinduism's growth in the past few decades in India and among Indians abroad has been remarkable: one subsect now has 8100 centers around the world where weekly meetings are held. The second focus is on the religions of South Asian immigrants: Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs and Christians. The first section is introductory and sets the stage through an analysis of the transmission of religious traditions. The second section moves from the development of Swaminarayan Hinduism and its leadership in India to its development in the United States as exemplified in Chicago. The third section analyzes the impact South Asian religions are having in the United States, and the effects that migration and modernization are having on the religions of the immigrants.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface. Transmission of Religious Traditions: What has Athens to do with Jerusalem or Bombay? Tradition and the liberal arts; The sacred thread: transmission of tradition; Sacred threads of several textures. Swaminarayan Hinduism: Presentation of the Shikshapatri to Sir John Malcom; Holy man as religious specialist: acharya tradition in Vaishnavism; Holy man as abode of god in Swaminarayan Hinduism; The guru as pastoral counselor; Training religious specialists for a transnational Hinduism: a Swaminarayan sadhu training center; Terror invades paradise; The Swaminarayan Hindu temple in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Religions Of Immigrants From South Asia: Asian-Indian and Pakistani religions in the United States; Religion and ethnicity in America; Negotiating the tradition: religious organizations and Gujarati group identity in the United States; A brief history of South Asian religions in the United States; Asian-Indian Muslims in the United States; South Asian Christians; Immigrants from India and Hindu-Christian dialogue. References; Index.
Raymond Brady Williams is Charles D. and Elizabeth S. LaFollette Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus, Wabash College and Director, Emeritus, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, Wabash College.