ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

The Space of Street-side Religiosity

Miniature Shrines in Chennai

There are two competing theorisations of street-side religiosity in India. One is process-centric; the other is event-centric. While the former approach conceptualises artefacts such as street-side shrines as offering resistance to the dominant ideological spaces, the latter seeks to understand the "event" of their construction and demolition within the "multiple modernities" framework. However, both the approaches take an instrumental view of these shrines. This view is reinforced by dualisms such as modernity and religiosity, local and global, space and place. These shrines co-construct and constitute an interconnected, open-ended, autonomous space. This space is shaped by practices and does not exist prior to the identities. Both space and identities are perennially under construction. The autonomy of the space is derived from its contingent nature.

Solomon Benjamin anchored the development of the arguments presented here. Sona Prabhakaran, Gayathri Devi and Anju M L participated in the fieldwork. In particular, Sona's knowledge of both Tamil and Malayalam saw us through some very crucial moments during the field visits. I could not have written this paper without them. In addition, I would like to thank Mathangi Krishnamurthy, Oviya Govindan, Sneha Annavarapu and Mukesh Manjunath for their comments.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

Pay INR 200.00

(Readers in India)

Pay $ 12.00

(Readers outside India)

Back to Top