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It also explores the major institutional developments as well as the formation of the Sikh canon during his reign, his teachings, and the social and political context of his life that contributed to his rise to cultural pre-eminence as one of the world's great religious leaders. Moreover, it examines the various causes that led to Guru Arjan's execution at the hands of the Mughals, and how his martyrdom influenced the crystallisation of the Sikh Panth. At present numbering twenty million adherents and spread the world over, the Sikhs represent a monotheistic tradition founded by Guru Nanak — in the Punjab, a region that served as a At present numbering twenty million adherents and spread the world over, the Sikhs represent a monotheistic tradition founded by Guru Nanak — in the Punjab, a region that served as a cultural bridge between the Middle East and South Asia.

This unique context makes it possible for scholars to trace the history of Sikh canon formation with a degree of accuracy unimaginable in other major religious traditions. In the process, he traces its origin, expansion, canonization, and place within the institutional development of the Sikh community.

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The revised and expanded picture of the history of the text and institution of Sikh scripture will be of interest not only to scholars of Sikhism and Sikh religionists, but to scholars of comparative canon formation. This book offers an exploration of the material aspects of Sikh identity, showing how material objects, as well as holy sites, and texts, embody and represent the Sikh community as an evolving This book offers an exploration of the material aspects of Sikh identity, showing how material objects, as well as holy sites, and texts, embody and represent the Sikh community as an evolving historical and social construction.

Widening traditional scholarly emphasis on holy sites and texts alone to include consideration of iconic objects, such as garments and weaponry, the book moves further and examines the parallel relationships among sites, texts, and objects.

It reveals that objects have played dramatically different roles across regimes—signifers of authority in one, mere possessions in another—and like Sikh texts, which have long been a resource for the construction of Sikh identity, material objects have served as a means of imagining and representing the past. Globalization has spawned more active transnational religious communities, creating a powerful force in world affairs. This book explores the patterns of cooperation and conflict that mark this new This book explores the patterns of cooperation and conflict that mark this new religious pluralism.

Shifting religious identities have encouraged interreligious dialogue and greater political engagement around global challenges, including international development, conflict resolution, transitional justice, and bioethics. At the same time, interreligious competition has contributed to political conflict and running controversy over the meaning and scope of religious freedom. In this volume, leading scholars from a variety of disciplines examine how the forces of religious pluralism and globalization are playing out on the world stage.

This book charts the history of gender construction in Sikhism by focusing on the Singh Sabha Reform Movement spearheaded by British educated Sikhs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth This book charts the history of gender construction in Sikhism by focusing on the Singh Sabha Reform Movement spearheaded by British educated Sikhs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The volume is based on a theoretical analysis of gender construction as a variable in social organization, and the time period examined is the colonial milieu following the annexation of Punjab by the British East India Company in Gender construction as a theoretical framework is combined with an investigation of two critical phases of Sikh history: the guru period, and the Singh Sabha Reform Movement that took place under the watchful eye of the British. The book also addresses how gender constructs in England during the Victorian era informed newly articulated Sikh educational and religious reform initiatives among the Sikh elite wanting recognition by the British administration.

The book tries to fill the gap created by a dearth of writing on women in Sikhism and the absence gender analysis within Sikh studies. While touching on the roles of specific players, this book deals with other political, social, and religious structures of colonial Punjab from the perspective of gender construction.

Yet the missive does far more than censure. The Sikh community has made its presence felt throughout the world. Focusing on globalization, this book presents Sikh history, politics, identity, music, ethics, material culture, the worldwide Sikh Focusing on globalization, this book presents Sikh history, politics, identity, music, ethics, material culture, the worldwide Sikh diaspora, and the history and current state of scholarship in the field of Sikh Studies. The book describes the internal differences of caste, community, and gender within Sikhism, as well as the use of modern media to disseminate and construct the frameworks of Sikhism.

It also stresses the importance of internal dynamics within the Sikh community and external factors such as local experiences in different countries for comprehending the processes of change visible among Sikhs from the global point of view. This study interrogates the dominant historiography about the origins and early history of the Sikh warrior community, the Khalsa.

Contrary to the commonly accepted belief that the distinctive Contrary to the commonly accepted belief that the distinctive rituals, ceremonies, and cultural practices associated with the Khalsa were formed during the lifetime of the Tenth and last Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, this study reveals how such markers of Khalsa identity evolved slowly over the course of the eighteenth century. By placing the experience of peasant communities at the heart of its historical analysis, this book traces the multiple perspectives and debates that eventually coalesced to create a composite Khalsa culture by This approach incorporates and analyzes Sikh normative religious literature, including rahitnamas and gurbilas texts, created during this period by reading it in the larger context of sources such as news reports, court histories and other primary sources that show how actual practices were shaped in response to religious reforms.

Recovering the agency of the peasants who dominated this community, this study demonstrates how a dynamic process of debates, collaboration, and conflict among Sikh peasants, scholars, and chiefs transformed Sikh practices and shaped a new martial community.

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Keywords: British invasion of the Punjab , death of Ranjit Singh , rebellion in Multan , Sikh Kingdom , Punjabi colonies , social and religious reforms , religious movements in Punjab , Singh Sabha , political movements , Sikh homeland. Keywords: Sikh history and tradition , Punjab , identity , nationality , Gurus , faith , Khalsa , Sikh literature. Keywords: Adi Granth , ancient texts , history , Punjab , religious history , Sikhism. Keywords: Sikh identity , material objects , holy sites , holy texts , Sikh community , historical construction , social construction , regime.

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Keywords: religious pluralism , world politics , globalization , development , interreligious , conflict resolution , religious freedom , justice. Fenech Published in print: Sikhism in Global Context Published in print: The first collective Sikh place of worship gurdwara in Europe was opened in South London in the religious organization was founded in and since then, the number of gurdwaras in Europe has been rapidly growing.

In , a century later, the United Kingdom alone hosts close to gurdwaras, while around public places for congregational worship have been established in continental Europe. These figures can illustrate the dramatic growth of European Sikhs and the increasing and institutionalized presence of the Sikh religion in contemporary Europe see Jacobsen, Chapter 6. Although the Sikhs have settled and established local communities in different parts of Europe and have become integrated into the host societies, they retain and nourish links to their places of origin and are interconnected through transnational networks encompassing a wide area of activities.

Their incorporation into Europe and transnational practices occurs simultaneously, and their transnational networks do not merely link European Sikh families with a real or imagined homeland of Punjab but also create dynamic intradiasporic connections between Sikhs and Punjabis worldwide. As previously mentioned, transnational practices among the Sikhs are not new phenomena, but what perhaps constitute a novel occurrence in more recent years are the intensified modes of exchanges between Sikhs in different countries.

Globalization processes and new means of communication and transportation have provided facilities for multiple practices across borders on a much larger scale than before Portes et al. Religious institutions like the Sikh gurdwaras, for example, have gained an important function by providing social spaces in which Sikh individuals at different places can build local social networks and simultaneously create and maintain links with the homeland and Sikhs in other countries.

Similarly, their active partaking of religious media from Punjab and the Sikh diaspora, their hosting of various religious specialists who travel between different European congregations teaching Sikhism 3 see Singh, Chapter 9 ; Myrvold, Chapter 10 , their participation in discourses, debates, and representations of religion on the internet Jakobsh, Chapter 8 ; Singh, Chapter 7 , and their religious travels and tourism to the Punjab Ferraris, Chapter 5 are a few examples that display a high intensity of transnational activities.

Religion continues to play a significant role in the daily lives of many European Sikhs and is important for their incorporation into the host societies as well as their maintenance of links with the homeland and Sikhs in other parts of the world.


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Transnational practices from a Sikh perspective have also provided the means for negotiating traditional notions of home, identity, religion, and authority, and shaping new self-representations and identity constructions that reflect multiple belongings. The younger generation in particular has created new social spaces on the internet where they are able to discuss and create their own interpretations of religion and culture.

Different political events and religious controversies within the Sikh community have also highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of these transnational networks. The Sikhs have proved their ability to quickly mobilize global support for causes that aim to preserve and protect their religious and cultural heritage on various levels.

Reading List – SAFAR – The Sikh Feminist Research Institute

Several chapters in the book address how the national context interacts and coexists with the transnational through various practices among European Sikhs. Against the theoretical presumption that transnationalism would diminish the role of the nation state, many cases of the Sikhs reveal that conditions within and policies of the European nations continue to exert a strong influence on the ways by which migrants develop and pattern their transnational networks and practices. Transnational families, for example, are dependent upon regulations by national migration policies when marrying their children with spouses from other countries and thereby extending their kinship networks and facilitating new migration Bertolani, Chapter 4.

Experiences of religious and cultural discrimination among European Sikhs with access to national citizenship may fuel their continued transnational aspirations and mobility Cloet, Cosemans, and Goddeeris, Chapter 3. In an attempt to illustrate the empirical variety and complexities of transnational practices among European Sikhs, the contributions to the book have been arranged into three parts which respectively treat different aspects of the Sikh migration and settlement in European diasporas and some of the challenges the Sikhs have encountered Part I , how they are constructing and negotiating identities, representations, and a sense of belonging through religious travels and practices in gurdwaras and on the internet Part II , as well as different transnational means by which they learn, teach, and contest religious beliefs and practices within the Sikh community and religion Part III.

In the first chapter, Shinder S. Thandi notes that the Sikhs in Europe constitute a diaspora on the margins of European society, struggling for visibility and acceptance, and in many cases becoming victims of the unforeseen effects of increased racism and Islamophobia. As Thandi suggests, it is difficult to make generalizations about European Sikhs since there are many and divergent Sikh diasporas in Europe that are in different phases of development, have various accounts of the reasons for settlement, and are also exposed to quite dissimilar legal practices on the national level.

The Sikhs who came to Europe under perhaps the worst of all circumstances in history—the horrors of war—were probably those who arrived as soldiers during the First World War. In Chapter 2 , David E. Omissi presents the history and contribution of the Sikh soldiers who were dispatched to Europe during the war and, among other things, analyzes the letters that Sikh soldiers sent home to document and tell their families about their experiences and observations of the war and European culture. A substantial number of the Indian soldiers who fought in the First World War were, consequently, Sikhs.

As Omissi observes, about 8, Indian soldiers died in Europe during the First World War and today there are several memorials to commemorate their bravery and sacrifices on European soil. The authors observe that Sikh migration has sometimes been associated with a high degree of stability with people moving from Punjab to settle in a new country, while the patterns of migration are, in reality, much more varied and complex, including several transits, returns, and circular movements between India and Europe, and also intradiasporic migration within Europe.

From the perspective of Belgium, the authors pay attention to how the hostility toward migrants in Belgian society affects the interpersonal and intercommunal relations of the Sikhs. As Belgium has adopted a critical stance toward religion and multiculturalism in line with the French tradition, many of the Belgian Sikhs have communicated their plans to leave the country when opportunities arise or have already made arrangements for a continued migration. The transnational aspiration has also been fuelled by perceptions of English-speaking countries with a larger Sikh population the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States as being more multicultural and open to immigrants and economic profit-seekers.

To exemplify different aspects of transnational mobility and aspiration, the chapter describes Sikhs moving from Southern Europe to Belgium, interdiasporic marriages, student mobility, and how certain individuals dream of returning to India or wish to capitalize on the transnational networks of which they are a part. In conclusion, the authors argue that national stability and transnational mobility do not exclude each other but rather interplay and should be seen as two important aspects of Sikh migration.