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Subproject A6


The Discourse on Non-Brahman Rituals and their Transformation in the South Indian Religious History Since the 18th Century

Department and Research Field: Theology and Religious Studies

Subproject Management

Prof. Dr. Michael Bergunder
Michael.Bergunder@wts.uni-heidelberg.de
 
Faculty of Theology
Kisselgasse 1
69117 Heidelberg  

Phone: +49 - (0)6221 - 54 33 08 or 54 32 89
Fax: +49 - (0)6221 - 54 32 90


Staff

Dr. Ulrike Schröder
ulrike.schroeder@wts.uni-heidelberg.de


Project Program

Subproject A6 researches the discourse on ritual transformation processes since the 18th century in the South Indian context and its consequences for the theory formation in religious studies and ritual science.

Because of its decisive influence, the subproject focuses on the Tamil context during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. An effort to extend the project scope into the present time as well as back into the 18th century is only envisioned for the third research phase of the collaborative research center SFB 619.

The subproject strives to reach three consecutive goals:

  • The historic-empirical assessment and identification of non-Brahman rituals in South India and their placement in the respective context.
  • Extracting the religious studies-related implications for the research on modern South-Indian religious history and for the conceptualization of Hinduism as a religion.
  • Elaborating the significance of the historical dimension of ritual theories within the debate on ritual-scientific theory.


The subproject aims to bring discourse-analytical approaches, which merge structure- and action-theory perspectives, to fruition for the ritual-scientific research. This leads our questions in a specific direction, since we do not investigate rituals as such, but rather the discourse on rituals and rituals as discursive formations respectively.  We expect this specific, theoretical point of view to provide a significant impulse to the debate on ritual theory within the entire SFB 619.


Main Topics

  • The historic-empirical assessment and identification of non-Brahman rituals in South India and their placement in the respective context.
  • Extracting the religious studies-related implications for the research on modern South-Indian religious history and for the conceptualization of Hinduism as a religion.
  • Extracting the significance of the historical dimension of ritual theories within the debate on ritual-scientific theory.