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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Price: $103.50

Hardback 304 pp.
39 b/w halftones, 6 1/8" x 9 1/4"



Publication date:
February 2010

Imprint: OUP US

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Sharing the Sacred

Practicing Pluralism in Muslim North India

Anna Bigelow

Inter-religious relations in India are notoriously fraught, not infrequently erupting into violence. This book looks at a place where the conditions for religious conflict are present, but active conflict is absent. Bigelow focuses on a Muslim majority Punjab town (Malkerkotla) where both during the Partition and subsequently there has been no inter-religious violence. With a minimum of intervention from outside interests, Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs have successfully managed conflict when it does arise. Bigelow explores the complicated history of the region, going back to its foundation by a Sufi saint in the fifteenth century. Combining archival and interview material, she accounts for how the community's idealized identity as a place of peace is realized on the ground through a variety of strategies. As a story of peace in a region of conflict, this study is an important counterbalance to many conflict studies and a corrective to portrayals of Islamic cultures as militant and intolerant. This fascinating town with its rich history will be of interest to students and scholars of Islam, South Asia, and peace and conflict resolution.

Readership : Suitable for students and scholars South Asia, conflict resolution and peace studies.

List of Figures
1. The Saint: Shaikh Sadruddin Sadri Jahan
2. The Nawabs: Good, Bad, and Ugly
3. Before Partition: Challenges to the Plural Kingdom
4. Partition and Beyond: Peace, Politics, and the New India
5. Dead Center: The Tomb of Haider Shaikh
6. Practicing Pluralism: Getting Along in Malerkotla

There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.

Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy at North Carolina State University.

Beyond Hindu and Muslim - Peter Gottschalk
Foreword by Wendy Doniger
Making Sense - Margot Northey and Joan McKibbin

Special Features

  • This is an important corrective to the overwhelming majority of coverage of Islam and violence.
  • In depth-analysis of shared rituals and practices.