Newness, Ritual and Globalization in Urban Hindu Temple Publics

Public lecture by Tulasi Srinivas, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Emerson College, Boston.


Through a specific focus on everyday ritual in Hindu temple publics, I seek to illustrate a dynamic process based understanding of living morally in a shifting South Asian neo-liberal urban context. With an eye towards unpacking the nature of moral subjectivity in our shifting times, in this meditation I examine the rituals and rhythms of Hindu temples of Bangalore city focusing on technologies of the new and currencies of emergent thought. I explore innovation, temporality, "tradition" in ritual as well as the associated performed affect deployed and engaged among priests, devotees and others to posit a new dynamic relationship located in indigenous ways of feeling and being-rasa and bhava. Linking emergent political economies, Hindu theology, moral subjectivity and Hindu ritual praxis, I seek to unpack the subjunctive, the precarious and the potentially aspirational ways that contemporary ritual may speak to emergent Hindu ways of being "neo-moral".


Tulasi Srinivas, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Emerson College, Boston, is currently on a Research fellowship at The Kate Hamburger Kolleg Center for Religious Studies (CERES), at Ruhr Universitat -Bochum, Germany. Srinivas is a specialist on globalization, culture and religion. Her work brings together key contemporary concerns of the global political economy, spirituality, and ethical life. The author of "Winged Faith Rethinking Globalization and Religious Pluralism" Columbia University Press, 2010, and co-editor (with Krishnendu Ray) of "Curried Cultures: Food, Globalization and South Asia", University of California Press, 2012, Srinivas is currently completing another monograph "Forging Faith: Ambivalent Globalization and Innovative Religion in Hindu Temple Publics of Bangalore City." Her research has been supported by the NEH and The Pew Foundation, and she has held several prestigious fellowships including those at the Berkley Center for Peace and Religious Studies at Georgetown University, and Harvard University's Center for the Study of World Religions.

All are welcome!