Provincial Hinduism explores intersecting religious worlds in an ordinary Indian city that remains close to its traditional roots, while bearing witness to the impact of globalization.
Daniel Gold looks at modern religious life in Gwalior, in the state of Mahdya Pradesh, drawing attention to the often complex religious sensibilities behind ordinary Hindu practice.
Turning his attention to public places of worship, Gold describes temples of different types inthe city, their legendary histories, and the people who patronize them.
Issues of community and identity are discussed throughout the book, but particularly in the context of caste and class.
Gold also explores concepts of community among Gwalior's Maharashtrians and Sindhis, groups with roots in other partsof the subcontinent that have settled in the city for generations.
Functioning as internal diasporas, they organize in different ways and make distinctive contributions to local religious life.
The book concludes by exploring characteristically modern religious institutions.
Gold considers three religious service organizations inspired by the nineteenth-century reformer Swami Vivekenanda, as well as two groups that stem from the nineteenth-century Radhasoami tradition but have developed indifferent ways: the very large and populist North Indian movement around the late Baba Jaigurudev (d. 2012); and the devotees of Sant Kripal, a regional guru based in Gwalior who has a much smaller, middle-class following. As the first book to analyze religious life in an ordinary, midsized Indian city, Provincial Hinduism will be an invaluable resource for scholars of contemporary Indian religion, culture, and society.