New Book by Assistant Professor Anand Taneja
Anand V. Taneja, Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi (2017)
Review: Anand Taneja's Jinnealogy reviewed by Rana Safvi of The Wire - The Dispossessed and the Possessed.
Podcast interview: Anand Taneja's Jinnealogy on Vanderbilt University's Authorial Intentions with Chris Benda.
Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought centers on Firoz Shah Kotla, a ruined medieval palace that has become a prominent dargah, or Muslim saint shrine, in contemporary Delhi. Built circa 1354 and long fallen into disrepair, the widespread popularity of Firoz Shah Kotla as a dargah began in 1977. Firoz Shah Kotla is frequented by both Hindus and Muslims, and the saints venerated at this dargah are not human, but Islamic spirits known as jinn. Visitors write letters of petition to these jinn-saints as if petitioning government officials, including their names, addresses, and passport photos in their appeals. They deposit multiple copies of these letters in various niches and alcoves through the ruins. Firoz Shah Kotla is also a place where another kind of nonhuman life flourishes, especially cats, snakes, and kites. As the jinn are shape-shifters in Islamic mythology, often taking the form of animals, these animals are also imbued with sacrality in this space.
Drawing on ethnography, Urdu literature, and government arhcives, Jinnealogy casts new light on the relation of theology to post-colonial politics, the ethical potentialities that popular Islam holds open for Muslims and non-Muslims, and the relation of the ecological to urban sacrality. At a time when reformist Islam is dismissive of the jinn and the realm of the unseen, following the familiar script of modernity and disenchantment, here the jinn are sanctified. The book compellingly argues that the “enchanted” nature of popular Islam encountered here is not a pre-modern relic, but an ethical, political, and theological stance emerging anew in response to the post-colonial condition.
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Alexis S. Wells-Oghoghomeh, "'She Come Like a Nightmare:' Hags, Witches, and the Gendered Trans-Sence among the Enslaved in the Lower South," The Journal of African Religions 5(2017): 239-274.
Anand V. Taneja, Jinnealogy: Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi . Paolo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2017.
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Laurel C. Schneider, Awake to the Moment: Introducing Constructive Theology , co-written with the Workgroup in Constructive Theology, co-edited with Stephen G. Ray. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2016.
Anand V. Taneja, "Village Cosmopolitanisms: Or, I see Kabul from Lado Sarai." In Rumba Under Fire: The Arts of Survival from West Point to Delhi, edited by Tim Albrecht and Irina Dumitrescu. Brooklyn: Punctum Books, 2016. pp. 175-195.
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David H. Price, The Works of Hrotsvit of Gandersheim . Edition, with English translation, edited and introduced by David H. Price. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2015.
Anand V. Taneja, "Saintly Animals: The Shifting Moral and Ecological Landscapes of North India." Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 35/2 (2015): 204-221.
David H. Price, "The Renaissance of Hrotsvit of Gandersheim," in The Works of Hrotsvit of Gandersheim (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2015), pp. 5-45.
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Anand V. Taneja, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 35/2 (2015). Special Issue, Animals and Enchantment in South Asia. Co-edited with Manan Ahmed Asif; with contributions by Naisargi Dave, Bhrigupati Singh, Radhika Govindarajan, Ricahrd McGregor, Rachel Dwyer, and Wendy Doniger.
Bryan D. Lowe, "States of 'State Buddhism': History, Religion, and Politics in Late Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Scholarship." Japanese Religions 39/1&2 (2014): 71-93.
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Bryan D. Lowe, "The Scripture on Saving and Protecting Body and Life: An Introduction and Translation." Journal of Chinese Buddhist Studies (27) 2014: 1-34. http://chinesebuddhiststudies.org/previous_issues/chbj2701.pdf
Bryan D. Lowe, "Buddhist Manuscript Cultures in Premodern Japan," Religion Compass 8/9 (2014): 287-301.
Nancy G. Lin, “Purity in the Pudding and Seclusion in the Forest: Si tu paṇ chen, Monastic Ideals, and the Buddha’s Biographies,” Journal of the International Association of Tibetan Studies 7 (August 2013): 86-124.