Winged Faith

Rethinking Globalization and Religious Pluralism through the Sathya Sai Movement

Tulasi Srinivas

Columbia University Press

Winged Faith

Google Preview

Pub Date: June 2010

ISBN: 9780231149334

448 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $36.00£30.00

Pub Date: June 2010

ISBN: 9780231149327

448 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $105.00£88.00

Pub Date: June 2010

ISBN: 9780231520522

448 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $35.99£30.00

Winged Faith

Rethinking Globalization and Religious Pluralism through the Sathya Sai Movement

Tulasi Srinivas

Columbia University Press

The Sathya Sai global civil religious movement incorporates Hindu and Muslim practices, Buddhist, Christian, and Zoroastrian influences, and "New Age"-style rituals and beliefs. Shri Sathya Sai Baba, its charismatic and controversial leader, attracts several million adherents from various national, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. In a dynamic account of the Sathya Sai movement's explosive growth, Winged Faith argues for a rethinking of globalization and the politics of identity in a religiously plural world.

This study considers a new kind of cosmopolitanism located in an alternate understanding of difference and contestation. It considers how acts of "sacred spectating" and illusion, "moral stakeholding" and the problems of community are debated and experienced. A thrilling study of a transcultural and transurban phenomenon that questions narratives of self and being, circuits of sacred mobility, and the politics of affect, Winged Faith suggests new methods for discussing religion in a globalizing world and introduces readers to an easily critiqued yet not fully understood community.

Tulasi Srinivas shows a superb ability to juxtapose contemporary theoretical concerns among scholars of globalization and transnational theory with ethnographic work done on a growing Indian tradition. Adept at negotiating the intricacies of many academic dialogues, Srinivas shows she is a polyglot intellectual.

Deepak Sarma, Case Western University

This is a wonderful book that can be read on two levels. One: as the fascinating story of how a religious movement spread from India throughout the world, with many vignettes that will stay in one's mind. And two: as a very instructive demonstration that cultural globalization is not a one-way process dominated by the West, but an interaction between cultures, with some processes going from East to West.

Peter L. Berger, Boston University

A welcome addition to our catalog of religious movements and a timely reminder that circulation does not flow in only one direction—and never will again.

Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database

[An] informative and erudite book.

Alexandra Kent, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

a rich and challenging text.

Hanna H. Kim, H-Asia

Winged Faith is a readable and carefully documented account of an extraordinary modern religious figure, but its appeal is much wider. It is an important contribution to the literature on globalization and a valuable corrective to the pervasive view that globalization, especially cultural globalization, is simply westernization.

Bryan S. Turner, Society

It is a book that should be widely read by scholars and people coming from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives.

Amit Chaturvedi, Contemporary South Asia

Srinivas' impressive study argues for new visions of pluralism that hinge upon an engaged cosmopolitanism...One hopes Srinivas' impressive work will be read by scholars from numerous fields, as its reach is incredibly broad.

Jeffrey M. Brackett, Journal of Hindu Studies
Acknowledgments
Note on Translation
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Toward Cultural Understanding
1. Becoming God: The Story of Sathya Sai Baba
2. Deus Loci: Economies of Faith, Sacred Travel, and the Building of a Moral Architecture
3. Illusion, Play, and Work in a Moral Community: Divine Darshan and the Practices of Transnational Devotion
4. Renegotiating the Body: Muscular Morality, Truancy, and the Satisfaction of Desire
5. Secrecy, Ambiguity, Truth, and Power: The Global Sai Organization and the Anti-Sai Network
6. Out of God's Hands: Reframing Material Worlds
In Lieu of a Conclusion: Some Thoughts on Cultural Translation and Engaged Cosmopolitanism
Appendix
Notes
References
Index
Web Features

About the Author

Tulasi Srinivas is assistant professor of anthropology at Emerson College, specializing in South Asia, with a focus on issues of globalization, religion, and identity.