[INDOLOGY] Book Announcement- Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship & Religion in India

Simmons, Caleb - (calebsimmons) calebsimmons at email.arizona.edu
Wed Feb 5 18:05:29 UTC 2020

Dear Indology List,

I would like to announce the recent publication of my book Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship and Religion in India<https://global.oup.com/academic/product/devotional-sovereignty-9780190088897?cc=us&lang=en&#> (OUP 2020), which is part of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) “Religion, Culture, and History” Book Series<https://www.aarweb.org/node/235>" edited by Robert A. Yelle.

The book is available from Oxford University Press<https://global.oup.com/academic/product/devotional-sovereignty-9780190088897?cc=us&lang=en&#>, as well as Amazon.com<https://www.amazon.com/Devotional-Sovereignty-Kingship-Religion-Culture/dp/0190088893> and other book sellers.

Thank you to everyone on the list who helped along the way.

Book Description from OUP’s Website:
Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship and Religion in India investigates the shifting conceptualization of sovereignty in the South Indian kingdom of Mysore during the reigns of Tipu Sultan (r. 1782-1799) and Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (r. 1799-1868). Tipu Sultan was a Muslim king famous for resisting British dominance until his death; Krishnaraja III was a Hindu king who succumbed to British political and administrative control. Despite their differences, the courts of both kings dealt with the changing political landscape by turning to the religious and mythical past to construct a royal identity for their kings. Caleb Simmons explores the ways in which these two kings and their courts modified and adapted pre-modern Indian notions of sovereignty and kingship in reaction to British intervention.

The religious past provided an idiom through which the Mysore courts could articulate their rulers' claims to kingship in the region, attributing their rule to divine election and employing religious vocabulary in a variety of courtly genres and media. Through critical inquiry into the transitional early colonial period, this study sheds new light on pre-modern and modern India, with implications for our understanding of contemporary politics. It offers a revisionist history of the accepted narrative in which Tipu Sultan is viewed as a radical Muslim reformer and Krishnaraja III as a powerless British puppet. Simmons paints a picture of both rulers in which they work within and from the same understanding of kingship, utilizing devotion to Hindu gods, goddesses, and gurus to perform the duties of the king.



Caleb Simmons, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
University of Arizona

PO Box 210105
Tucson, AZ 85721-0105

Author of Devotional Sovereignty: Kingship and Religion in India<https://global.oup.com/academic/product/devotional-sovereignty-9780190088897?prevSortField=9&sortField=8&start=0&resultsPerPage=20&q=aar&prevNumResPerPage=20&lang=en&cc=us> (Oxford University Press 2020)

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