Religious identity constitutes a key element in the formation, development and sustenance of South Asian diasporic communities. Through studies of South Asian communities situated in multiple locales, this book explores the role of religious identity in the social and political organization of the diaspora. It accounts for the factors that underlie the modification of ritual practice in the process of resettlement, and considers how multicultural policies in the adopted state, trans-generational changes and the proliferation of transnational media has impacted the development of these identities in the diaspora. Also crucial is the gender dimension, in terms of how religion and caste affect women’s roles in the South Asian diaspora. What emerges then from the way separate communities in the diaspora negotiate religion are diverse patterns that are strategic and contingent. Yet, paradoxically, the dynamic and evolving relationship between religion and diaspora becomes necessary, even imperative, for sustaining a cohesive collective identity in these communities.
This bookw as published as a special issue of South Asian Diaspora.