Hindu Gods in an American Landscape

Changing Perceptions of Indian Sacred Images in the Global Age

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About the Book

In India, Hindu images have been cast for millennia through the lost wax process and brought to life by priests—becoming not merely venerated icons but actual embodiments of gods. Second and third generation Hindu Americans have increasingly adopted a more worldly perspective toward religious objects, viewing them as symbolic rather than actual presences of the deity.
The author traces the origins of this important shift, and examines Western attitudes regarding sacred objects, as well as the complex layering of traditional and modern Hindu attitudes in a globalized world.

About the Author(s)

E. Allen Richardson is a professor of religious studies at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

E. Allen Richardson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 234
Bibliographic Info: 21 photos, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9944-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3261-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Explanation of Diacritical Marks x

Introduction 1

One: Globalization and Shifting Cultural Trajectories of Hindu Sacred Objects 9

Two: Bringing God to Life: The Trajectory of Presence and Ritual Production 37

Three: Imagining God: The Trajectory of Sacred Objects as Symbols 82

Four: Putting God on Display: Interpreting Hindu Image Through the Lens of Art,
Symbolism and Meaning 117

Five: Transnational Hinduism and Shifting Trajectories 147

Glossary 177

Chapter Notes 193

Bibliography 205

Index 215