Experimental Dharmas in Asia and the Diaspora
Antoinette DeNapoli, University of Wyoming, USA
This collection presents in-depth ethnographic analyses of the worldviews and practices of Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist traditions, or “dharmas,” in South Asia and the Diaspora (Indonesia; Australia). The goal of this collection concerns advancing scholarly understanding of the interrelation of tradition and innovation in contemporary Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist dharma traditions and the ways that practitioners are experimenting with the conventional boundaries of “dharma” in order to construct new meanings and applications that align with the challenges and concerns of the 21st-century global milieu. The literature on Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism has often emphasized the significance of the notions of “innovation” and “change” in the transmission of religious cultural traditions. And yet, the role of experimentation in the imagining, construction, and experience of Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist dharmas has been underrepresented in the scholarship on Asian religions. Through use of the concept “experimental religion,” this series fills a lacuna in the current state of scholarship on ethnography, gender, religious identity, globalization, and modernization in Asian dharma traditions.