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In Theologising with the Sacred ‘Prostitutes’ of South India, Eve Rebecca Parker theologises with the Dalit women who from childhood have been dedicated to village goddesses and used as ‘sacred’ sex workers. Parker uses ethnographic, anthropological, theological, hermeneutical and historical research and analysis in order to critically engage with the lived religiosity and daily struggles of the dedicated women, known as devadāsīs. In doing so, she works towards an Indecent Dalit Liberation Theology that challenges systems of oppression and cultures of impunity, including casteism, sexism, classism and a history of socio-political and religious marginalisation. The result is a profound theologising of struggle and resistance with the sexual narratives of the oppressed.
Translator: Henry Jansen
In The European Encounter with Hinduism Jan Peter Schouten offers an account of European travellers coming into contact with the Hindu religion in India. From the thirteenth century on, both traders and missionaries visited India and encountered the exotic world of Hindus and Hinduism. Their travel reports reveal how Europeans gradually increased their knowledge of Hinduism and how they evaluated this foreign religion. Later on, although officials of the colonial administration also studied the languages and culture of India, it was – contrary to what is usually assumed – particularly the many missionaries who made the greatest contribution to the mapping of Hinduism.
Author: Melanie Barbato
In Jain Approaches to Plurality Melanie Barbato offers a new perspective on the Jain teaching of plurality ( anekāntavāda) and how it allowed Jains to engage with other discourses from Indian inter-school philosophy to global interreligious dialogue. Jainism, one of the world’s oldest religions, has managed to both adapt and preserve its identity across time through its inherently dialogical outlook. Drawing on a wide range of textual sources and original research in India, Barbato analyses the encounters between Jains and non-Jains in the classical, colonial and global context. Jain Approaches to Plurality offers a comprehensive introduction to anekāntavāda as a non-Western resource for understanding plurality and engaging in dialogue.

“Building upon earlier work in this field without simply reduplicating it, Melanie Barbato’s work delves deeply into the question of the relevance of Jain approaches to religious and philosophical diversity to contemporary issues of inter-religious dialogue, and dialogues across worldviews more generally. (…) This work is a most welcome contribution to the conversation.”

— Jeffery D. Long, Professor of Religion and Asian Studies, Elizabethtown College. April 2017. Author of Jainism: An Introduction.