Diaspora of the Gods: Modern Hindu Temples in an Urban Middle-Class World by Joanne Punzo WaghorneDiaspora of the Gods: Modern Hindu Temples in an Urban Middle-Class World by Joanne Punzo Waghorne

Diaspora of the Gods: Modern Hindu Temples in an Urban Middle-Class World

byJoanne Punzo Waghorne

Paperback | October 7, 2004

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Many Hindus today are urban middle-class people with religious values similar to those of their professional counterparts in America and Europe. Just as modern professionals continue to build new churches, synagogues, and now mosques, Hindus are erecting temples to their gods wherever theirwork and their lives take them. Despite the perceived exoticism of Hindu worship, the daily life-style of these avid temple patrons differs little from their suburban neighbors. Joanne Waghorne leads her readers on a journey through this new middle-class Hindu diaspora, focusing on their efforts tobuild and support places of worship. She seeks to trace the changing religious sensibilities of the middle classes as written on their temples and on the faces of their gods. She offers detailed comparisons of temples in Chennai (formerly Madras), London, and Washington, D.C., and interviews templepriests, devotees, and patrons. In the process, she illuminates the interrelationships between ritual worship and religious edifices, the rise of the modern world economy, and the ascendancy of the great middle class. The result is a comprehensive portrait of Hinduism as lived today by so many bothin India and throughout the world. Lavishly illustrated with professional photographs by Dick Waghorne, this book will appeal to art historians as well as urban anthropologists, scholars of religion, and those interested in diaspora, transnationalism, and trends in contemporary religion. It shouldbe especially appealing for course use because it introduces the modern Hinduism practiced by the friends and neighbors of students in the U.S. and Britain.
Joanne Punzo Waghorne is at Syracuse University.
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Title:Diaspora of the Gods: Modern Hindu Temples in an Urban Middle-Class WorldFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.79 inPublished:October 7, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195156641

ISBN - 13:9780195156645

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Editorial Reviews

"I know of no work that comes anywhere near Diaspora of the Gods in describing the middle-class Hinduism one would actually see if one visited Hindu sites in the United States or Britain, or trained an eye on their urban analogues in India. Waghorne has a particular talent for peering behindthe obvious disparities between cultures to see the underlying similarities of structure--middle class as process, she calls it. Does this seem too homogenizing? Wait till you see the pictures!"--John Stratton Hawley, Barnard College, Columbia University