Global reconstruction of Hinduism: A case study of Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada.

Global reconstruction of Hinduism: A case study of Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada.

Show full item record

Title: Global reconstruction of Hinduism: A case study of Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada.
Author: Sekar, Radhika.
Abstract: The main hypothesis of this dissertation is that the emergence, development, and subsequent spread of modern Hinduism, beginning from the late 18 th century India, are products of an ongoing process of globalization. The Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in Canada is an example of the larger historical process of a globalization of Hinduism. It is therefore argued that any analysis of contemporary socio-religious change must be undertaken within the broader parameters of globalization theory. The discussion begins with an examination of the social and historical contexts that led to the emergence of Hinduism as a "religion" in the modern sense of the term, and surveys its spread and development in the global diaspora. It is proposed that such factors as population size, ethnic composition, and density, along with socio-political and technological developments at universal and particular levels, each have played prominent roles in the reconstruction of Hinduism in minority situations. This assumption is illustrated with a case study of Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada. The globalising processes of Sri Lankan Tamils began at the end of the 17th century when Ceylon came under Portuguese rule. The introduction of modern institutions under subsequent Dutch and British rule escalated the process, bringing about socio-religious changes that led to the current political situation. Consequently, Sri Lankan Tamils began arriving in Canada in the 1980s as refugees. The majority settled in Toronto and Montreal where they soon began reconstructing their religious institutions and temples. Three particular religious institutions, the Ganesha Temple in Toronto, the Thirumurukan Temple in Montreal and the Hindu Temple of Ottawa-Carleton, are examined in order to determine how Tamils are reconstructing Hinduism as a minority religion in Canada under global conditions. Results based on field data show the occurrence of "globalization", that is the simultaneous globalization of local forms of Hinduism and the localization of global Hinduism.
Date: 2001
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/6108

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
NQ67994.PDF 11.51Mb application/pdf View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record


Contact information

Morisset Hall (map)
65 University Private
Ottawa ON Canada
K1N 6N5

Tel. 613-562-5800 (4563)
Fax 613-562-5195

ruor@uottawa.ca