The syncretistic ethos of traditions in South Asia has now become part of public discourse. Political scientists, historians, and social activists have laid stress on syncretism as an important political value in present times. Mindful of these projections, the essays in this volume approach the issues of syncretism, synthesis, and pluralism in South Asia today to objectively reassess their importance in coping with a political and cultural future." "The introduction by Asim Roy and Mushirul Hasan outlines the relevance of the debate both within and outside the academe. It prepares the way for the relevant questions the essays pose even as they focus on various individuals, moments, and encounters in Indian history. How does one define syncretism? What is the difference between syncretism and pluralism? Is it possible to live together separately? The volume takes a fresh look at various historical events, personalities, and phenomena, and makes an effort to revisit many long-held, black-and-white, uni-dimensional views such as 'unity in diversity' and 'composite culture'." "Due to its engagement with a highly topical theme, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of medieval and modern Indian history, sociologists, political scientists as well as lay readers interested in the question of Indian pluralism as reflected in its history
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