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Dilemmas of devotion: religious transformation and agency in Hindu India

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This article offers perspectives on the kinds of agency harnessed when people in central India join a Hindu devotional sect (or panth). It takes seriously the devotees' desire to participate fully in a relationship with God alone and looks at the consequences of this desire on significant relationships with kin, neighbours, and other gods. The article contrasts these forms of agency with the kind demanded of local people by modernizing projects of the Indian state and explores the response of devotees to this particular configuration of power. In doing so it asks questions about the varied notions of freedom articulated in processes of religious change and puts this Hindu transformation in dialogue with recent explorations of rupture in the anthropology of Christianity.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/28028/

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