Seminar with Knut A. Jacobsen: "Hindu Diasporas and Hindu Sacralization of Space Beyond South Asia"
Welcome to a seminar with Professor Knut A. Jacobsen (University of Bergen) on the global phenomenon of Hindu diasporas and the extension of Hindu sacred space beyond South Asia.
Due to large scale migrations of Hindus from South Asia during the last two hundred years, there are significant Hindu diasporas on all continents. The book Hindu Diasporas (edited by Prof. Knut A. Jacobsen) maps and analyzes this global phenomenon and the role of religious traditions in the old and new Hindu diasporas.
Because of the Hindu migrations the sacred geography of Hinduism is no longer limited to an Indian or a South and Southeast Asian sacred geography but encompasses the whole world. Hindus from South Asia have sacralized new landscapes globally. Just as all rivers may become the Gaṅgā, the Hindu deities are accessible everywhere.
In this seminar, Professor Knut A. Jacobsen argues that making Hindu sacred sites is one of the ways religious traditions identified as Hindu have been expanding historically in South Asia and now expands worldwide with the Hindu diasporas. He presents a typology of Hindu pilgrimage sites in the Hindu diasporas and argues that the global expansion of Hindu sacred sites and sacred geography shows that Hindus sacralize space wherever they settle and is not specific to India and that encounters with Hindu gods and goddesses may happen wherever Hindus live.
This event is co-hosted by SASNET and the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at Lund University.
About the lecturer
Knut A. Jacobsen is Professor in the Study of Religions at the University of Bergen, Norway. His main fields of research include Hindu sacred geography and pilgrimage, transnational Hinduism, Sāṃkhya and Yoga theory and practice, and religion and public space in South Asia and the diasporas. Among his publications are the monographs Pilgrimage in the Hindu Tradition: Salvific Space (Routledge 2013) and Yoga in Modern Hinduism: Hariharānanda Āraṇya and Sāṃkhyayoga (Routledge 2018), and the edited volumes Handbook of Hinduism in Europe (Brill 2020), Routledge Handbook of South Asian Religions (Routledge 2021) and Hindu Diasporas (Oxford University Press 2023). He is the editor-in-chief of the seven volumes Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism (2009-2023).