About the Book:
This penetrating volume is one of the first to chart the history of gender construction in Sikhism. Focusing specifically on the Singh Sabha reform movement-spearheaded by British-educated Sikhs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries-in analyses the development of gender ideals under the Sikh gurus, and their adaptation and in some cases transformation by the new intellectual elite.
The Singh Sabha reform movement aimed at resurrecting reform movement aimed at resurrecting the 'purity' of Sikhism as it existed during what was considered the golden age of the guru period. The reformers, armed with western education and the Victorian ideals of the high colonial era, sought to reinterpret tradition according to their own needs and visions. In its analysis of the ideology of gender and identity promoted by thee Singh Sabha reformers, the study looks at both male and female ideals and the ways in which these were informed by notions of gender in Victorian Britain. It also examines the development of novel ritual identities, exploring the educational initiatives meant to produce reformed Sikhs, unadulterated by popular traditions that were integral to the ritual universe of the populace. In the process, the author challenges current understandings of the inclusion of women in the ritual formations of Sikhs.
A major contribution to an uncharted field of research, this wide-ranging study will attract students and scholars of gender studies, the Sikh religion, and Sough Asian colonial history as well as general readers interested in historical understanding of the role of women within Sikhism.
About the Author:
Doris R. Jakobsh is an Instructor in Religion, Renison College, University of Waterloo, Canada.
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