Cornell University
Search Go

SAP Seminar Series: "A Tradition of Inventions: Arumuga Navlar’s Construction of a Saiva Public in Colonial Jaffna" by Darshan Ambalavanar

Monday, April 23, 2018 at 12:15pm to 1:30pm

Uris Hall, G08

The Jaffna Peninsula in northern Sri Lanka experienced one of the  longest periods of sustained colonial rule in South Asia. In the 19th century Congregationalist missionaries from the United States introduced new forms of knowledge, learning and institutions with the aim of converting Tamil Saivites. Arumuga Navalar articulated an intellectual response that defended and re-articulated a Tamil Saiva Siddhanta world view through a sustained rebuttal of Protestant theology. His project included adaptation of many features of Christian missionary modernity, reshaping Saiva textual and devotional culture. His Saiva public was built around the hegemony of the locally dominant Vellala caste. This paper examines the critical features of Navalar’s work to create a Saiva public and in doing so engages debates around the problem of colonial modernity and the possibilities of a re-articulation of local religious traditions, including their capacity to interpret their own history.

Darshan Ambalavanar is a visiting scholar at Cornell University. He completed his doctorate at Harvard University in the Study of Religion with a thesis on “Arumuga Navalar and the Construction of a Saiva Public.” He currently works in community education programs in war affected regions of northeast Sri Lanka.

Event Type

Lecture

Departments

Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, South Asia Program

Tags

cashum

Cost

Free Admission

Contact E-Mail

vef9@cornell.edu

Contact Name

Valerie Foster Githinji

Contact Phone

6072558493

Speaker

Darshan Ambalavaner

Disability Access Information

Available Upon Request

Open To

Public

Subscribe
Google Calendar iCal Outlook

Recent Activity