19 July, 2012

Recent Debates in Sikh Studies: An Assessment

Recent Debates in Sikh Studies: An Assessment
By- J.S. Grewal

Sikh studies in recent decades have been marked by a prolonged controversy involving most of the basic issues related to the Sikh tradition: the life of Guru Nanak, and the 
Janamsakhis; the teachings of Guru Nanak, the nature of his faith, and his status in the history of religion; evolution of the Sikh community and its politicization; the Khalsa rahit and the doctrines of Guru Panth and Guru Granth; the history of the Dasam Granth, its status, and its importance in the life of the Sikhs; the Sikh tradition of martyrdom; the Sikh and Khalsa identity; tension between the ideal of equality and the presence of caste and gender distinctions in the Sikh social order; and the making of the Sikh scripture known as Guru Granth Sahib.

The author’s comments and his perspective based on his extensive study of Sikh history and literature, meaningfully moderate between the opposing views held by the Western academia and the Sikh intelligentsia. As a result, this volume becomes an exceptionally insightful introduction to the Sikh tradition. It is indispensable for all readers and scholars interested in Sikh studies.

Padmashree and a renowned historian, J.S. Grewal served the Indian Institute of Advanced Study at Shimla as its Director and Chairman of its Governing Body after serving Guru Nanak Dev University at Amritsar as its Vice-Chancellor and Professor of History. He has written extensively on Historiography, Medieval India, the Punjab and Punjabi Literature, and the Sikhs. His publications include Guru Nanak in History (1969); The Sikhs of the Punjab (1990); Sikh Ideology, Polity and Social Order (2007); A Study of Guru Granth Sahib: Doctrine, Social Content, History, Structure and Status (2009); and The Sikhs: Ideology, Institutions and Identity (2009).

ISBN  978-81-7304-883-8    2011   324p.   Rs.895/ pounds 50

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