The Bhakti Movement: India’s National Religion and the Shadow of the Raj
by John Stratton Hawley
Professor, Department of Religion, Barnard College, Columbia University
Monday, March 8 at 6:00 pm
Families have their genealogies and favorite stories; countries have their histories. What history succeeds better for a country than the one capable of molding its citizens into a family? In India, that has been the particular work of a narrative called “the bhakti movement” — bhakti andolan in Hindi. Here bhakti — the religion of the heart, of song and common participation — is seen as a force of history, something like the contagion of America’s Great Awakenings but spanning a millennium. It formed the religious bedrock that would ultimately, in the 20th century, make the nation possible. Or so we have been taught. This lecture will explore the historical contingencies that actually created this received —and largely Hindu — common sense.
For more information, contact the India Studies Program at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-855-5798