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  • Reference work
  • © 2017


  • Builds understanding of Sikhism, Sikh concepts and practices in a global world
  • Discusses Sikhism’s interactions with other religions, its history, and political aspirations
  • Contributes to understanding Sikh traditions and identity formation
  • Analyses the relationship between complex themes such as violence and mysticism
  • Includes supplementary material:

Part of the book series: Encyclopedia of Indian Religions (EIR)

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About this book

This volume describes Sikhism, the youngest member of the Indic religious traditions. It looks at the striking features of this tradition and describes its birth in the fifteenth century and its continual evolution between the sixteenth and late twentieth centuries into an independent formation often described as the “world’s fifth largest religion”. The volume explains how Sikhism arose at a time of religious and political ferment, a fact which left its mark on its interactions with other traditions, notably Islam, Christianity and Hinduism. The volume illustrates that Sikhism’s  political aspirations may not have been fully met by the establishment of the nation state of India in 1947, as indicated by the demand by its adherents for greater autonomy which occasionally has spilled over into claims for independence. It pays attention to the fact that Sikhism is isomorphic with Buddhism and Jainism inasmuch as the demographically minority status of all of these religious traditions conceals the vast influence they have exerted on the Indian landscape. In addition the volume analyses the relationship between complex themes such as violence and mysticism, politics and religion, tradition and modernity, as they have manifested themselves in the historical evolution of the Sikh community. It provides a useful introduction to the lives of its founders, their philosophical and ethical teachings and to Sikh responses and interactions with the world’s major religious traditions in an increasingly pluralistic world.

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Table of contents (361 entries)

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“Springerʹs Encyclopedia of Sikhism will be a useful compendium and resource, particularly for the westerners including the Sikh diaspora, even if it does not much deepen our understanding of the truth and message of Sikhism or its project and problematique. At any rate, all will gain an insight into how academics abroad, Sikh and non-Sikh, view important issues related to Sikhism.” (Bhupinder Singh, Journal of Sikh & Punjāb Studies JSPS, Vol. 25 (02), 2018)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

    Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair

About the editor

Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair is an Associate Professor and holder of the S.B.S.C. Endowed Chair in Sikh Studies at the University of Michigan, USA. His books include: Sikhism: A Guide for the Perplexed (Bloomsbury, 2013), Religion and the Specter of the West: Sikhism, India, Postcoloniality and the Politics of Translation (Columbia, 2009), Teachings of the Sikh Gurus (with Christopher Shackle, 2005), Secularism and Religion-Making (Oxford, 2009). He is a founding editor of the journal Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture and Theory.

Bibliographic Information

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