Marginality, Ethnicity and Identity in Literatures
Contemporary literature concerns itself with transgressing borders and destabilizing hierarchical orders. Border crossing to question the given limits and orthodox beliefs brings many disciplines and diverse experiences together, and the result is a myriad of ways of expressing the alternatives when the established boundaries are liberated. The volume presents fifteen essays and brings together many academics and scholars who share a common interest in transgressing borders in literatures. The book is determined to encourage border violations, and each paper tackles the issue of border crossing in different realms and territories.
Hindu Identity as a Site of Liminality (Leena Taneja)
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Hindu Identity as a Site of Liminality
This study explores the liminal character of Hindu identity as a site of both stability and change. Identity, self or Atman as it is described in ancient Sanskrit sources does not appear to be a source of great thought in Hindu philosophy and theology until the period of the Upanishads, philosophical texts dating back to 500 BCE. Prior to this period, the Vedas the oldest texts in Hinduism can best be described as books of hymns and ritual practice. The interiorization of Hindu thinking finds its greatest expression in the Upanishads, a period marked by the deep introspection and meditation on the inner self. The present study juxtaposes two distinct and contrasting opinions on Hindu identity depicted in two different literary sources found in Hinduism: The first text is the well-read and popular Hindu scripture the Bhagavad-Gita, the other finds prominence in the bhakti period beginning in the Middle Ages around the 16th century in a plethora of bhakti poems and treatises written by the Six Goswamis, a group of highly prolific theologians in North India. The goal of this paper is to argue that the non-negotiable boundaries constituting the Gita’s Self are deliberately and carefully subverted by the bhakti schools who sought emotion over intellectualism as a method for salvation. In sum, as different Hindu schools discover the meaning of illumination and ultimate salvation, their writing reflects a purposeful change that alters the...
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