Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This project draws attention to the modern phenomenon of Guruism. I demonstrate that gurus in South Asian fiction are no longer adopting Guruism for the purposes of religion alone. In the novels I analyze, gurus use religion as a tool to resist dominant power structures, to strengthen/protect themselves in communities that stereotype, to access social/financial mobility and to obtain political power. The actions of these religious leaders have both positive and negative effects, as gurus ultimately desire authority to determine how South Asian communities conceive Hinduism, the function of Hindu religious institutions, and the role that Hinduism must play in the future. Gurus are empowered by their construction of religioscapes, or religious networks (social, financial and political), which negotiate identity through religion and instruct culture through imagination.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Gupta, Sukanya, "Constructing Hindu Religioscapes: Guruism and Identity in South Asian Diasporic Fiction" (2011). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 3254.