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Readings on Varna/Jati Suitable for an Introduction to Hinduism Course


Compiled by Tracy Pintchman, Loyola University Chicago

Eleanor Zelliot's chapter on caste in __Contemporary Hinduism: Ritual, Culture, and Practice,_  edited by Robin Rinehart (ABC-CLIO 2004)

 Harper, Edward. "Ritual Pollution as an Integrator of Caste and Religion." In _Religion in South Asia_. Edward Harper (ed.) Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1964.

 Steven Parish, "God-Chariots in a Garden of Castes: Hierarchy and Festival in a Hindu City."  In _Everyday Life in South Asia_, ed. Diane P. Mines and Sarah Lamb, 174-189.

 Sarah Dickey, "Anjali's Prospects."  In Mines and Lamb, 214-226.

 James Freeman, "The Castes of Kapileswar."  Chapter three of _Scarcity and Opportunity in an Indian Village_ (Prospect Heights, IL:  Waveland Press, 1977).

 Short article on caste in Hinduism in The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism, ed. Gavin Flood.

 Falk, Nancy Auer.  _Living Hinduisms: An Explorer's Guide_.  Wadsworth Publishing, 2005 ISBN: 0534520111

 Lawrence A.  Babb, Alchemies of Violence: Myths of Identity and the Life of Trade in Western India.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage  Publications, 2004.  (Study of three trading castes, mythohistories of origins, social formations, festivities, and relation to Rajput and Brahmin communities in eastern Rajasthan.  For example, the chapter on Agrawals might be supplements with web sites that indicate the sorts of activities, projects, and charitable work the community undertakes.  More than 50 pages, but the intro and one or two chapters may get the points about how caste communities are negotiating global modernities.  Babb attends to issues of historical contextualization, urbanization, and globalization.)

 Chapter on Hindu social structure from David Kinsley's Hinduism textbook.

 Kent, Eliza "Representing Caste in the Classroom: Perils, Pitfalls and Potential Insights", and  Dhand, Arti "Hinduism to Hindus in the Western Diaspora", from Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 17/3 (2005)

 Marriott, McKim. 2004. "Varna and Jati." In Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby,  eds., _The Hindu World_, 357-82. London: Routledge.

 Patrick Olivelle, _Language, Texts, and Society:  Explorations in Ancient Indian Culture and Religion_.  Firenze University Press - Munshiram Manoharlal 2005 ISBN 88-8453-395-3 : especially chapters 9 ("Caste and Purity: A Study in the Language of the Dharma Literature") and 17  (" Food for Thought: Dietary Rules and Social Organization in Ancient  India")



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Revised: April 16, 2006