Responding to the Wendy Doniger Controversy

Steven Ramey published “Responding to the Wendy Doniger Controversy: The Problems and Possibilities in the Academic Study of Religion“, a follow-up to his posts (here and here) addressing the responses to Wendy Doniger’s book The Hindus, in the April 2014 edition of the Bulletin for the Study of Religion.

Residual Assumptions

In a recent email discussion among scholars about general issues of representations and Wendy Doniger’s controversial book (about which I have written on Culture on the Edge and Bulletin for the Study of Religion blog), P. Pratap Kumar, a colleague in South Africa, framed the issue through a clear, though contrived, contrast between the scholar and the devotee. He wrote, …

Brand Loyalty

Have you heard of the parody of the 1960s “Peter and Jane” readers for kids, and how Penguin UK has threatened a lawsuit unless the author and small publisher “pulp” the books? No? Then come up to speed with this article.

What is the Goal of the Academic Study of Religion?

Interested in some additional thoughts on the Doniger controversy? Then see our own Steven Ramey‘s new post at the blog for the Bulletin for the Study of Religion. [M]y intent is not to critique Doniger but to critique the tendency across the field to define religions in ways that give preference to one group over …

Reversing Roles in the Definition of Hinduism

The controversy surrounding Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History reemerged today with word that Penguin India has agreed to withdraw and destroy copies of the book in India to settle a lawsuit alleging that Doniger’s book hurt the religious sentiments of “millions of Hindus”. (The full text of the legal complaint is available online.) …