[INDOLOGY] Reminder: CFP 48th Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions

Kush Depala kushdepala at gmail.com
Fri Nov 18 10:07:02 UTC 2022

Dear members of the list,

This is just a reminder for our call for papers for the 48th Spalding
Symposium on Indian Religions.

We are delighted to announce one of our keynotes: Prof. Gwilym Beckerlegge.
Other confirmed speakers include Prof. Amanda Lucia and Dr. Måns Broo.

*Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions 2023*

*King’s College London (in person)*

Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd April 2023

Call for Papers – Proposal deadline: *22nd December 2022*

*Theme: Authority, Lineage & Schism*

We invite proposals for papers for the 48th Spalding Symposium on Indian

Over the last two decades, there has been growing and multi-disciplinary
attention to South-Asian formations of lineage and leadership. Historians
have addressed how religious movements have positioned themselves within a
genealogy of authoritative organisational rubrics (Burghart, 2004; Hawley,
2011, 2015; Horstmann, 2011); sociologists have mapped hereditary lineages
of particular sects (Lane 1992); and anthropologists have begun to place
individual leaders within the contextual frameworks of Indian society,
diaspora, and culture (Beckerlegge, 2006; Warrier, 2005). Several edited
volumes have also brought together various case studies and approaches to
studying the diversity of the social and conceptual domains in which gurus
feature (e.g., Copeman & Ikegame, 2014). Evidenced from the breadth of
scholarship on recent guru studies, the guru – viz. *sant*, *bābā*,
*mahant*, *svāmī*, *ācārya*, etc. – is, and always has been, critical
to Indian religious life and practice. Yet, the critical question of how
they are chosen and succeeded remains largely unexplored. Is there a unique
pattern, a codified convention, or an unwritten but accepted tradition of
leader appointment and heirship? Or are there diverse, complex, and
evolving formulations of succession that develop out of power feuds between
eligible heirs, or out of conflicting interpretations of custom and
practice? What happens when there is uncertainty or disagreement over a
leader’s succession?

This year's symposium invites papers that deal with the topic of
leadership, succession practices, and schism formation, as well as the
sources of authority used to mitigate traditions and conflicts.

*Keywords: *

Succession, eligibility, guru, leadership, mahantship, heirship, leader
instalment rites and practices, community formation, succession disputes,
divine genealogy, endowment, religious textual authority leadership, gender
and leadership, childhood and leadership, embodied and non-embodied
authority, lineage in new religious movements, law.

Our purview includes both religions of South Asian origin wherever in the
world they are being practised, and those of non-South Asian origin present
within South Asia. We welcome papers based upon all research methods,
including textual, historical, ethnographic, sociological and philosophical.
 Papers that address the theme of the conference are particularly welcome,
although other proposal topics may be considered.

Presenters are allocated forty minutes for their paper and twenty minutes
for discussion. As the conference will be in person a conference fee will
apply. We also welcome proposals from advanced doctoral candidates, who
will be allocated twenty minutes for their paper and ten
minutes for discussion. (Please note on your proposal if you are a doctoral
researcher). Doctoral students will be entitled to bursaries if their
papers are accepted.

If you would like to give a presentation, please fill out this Google form (
https://forms.gle/TFRoBvqGWseQqANk6) end a title, abstract  (maximum 500
words) and short bio to the Spalding Symposium committee:
spaldingsymposium1 at gmail.com, by *22nd December 2022*.

Due to the typical volume of submissions, individual feedback on proposals
cannot be provided. Successful proposals will be announced in mid-January.

For further enquiries please email the committee on the email address:
spaldingsymposium1 at gmail.com

With best wishes,

Dr Avni Chag, Dr Karen O-Brien-Kop and Kush Depala

~ the organising committee
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