Dear colleagues,

our project team has successfully submitted a panel to the upcoming 24th ECSAS (European Conference on South Asian Studies) that will take place at the University of Warsaw (Poland) from 27 to 30 July 2016.. The topic of our panel is "Street-shrines: religion of the everyday in urban India".

The call for papers is now open (closing November 30). It would be really great to receive paper proposals from you. Depending on the number of papers proposed and accepted we can allocate up to 3 sessions which could create significant space for interesting and productive dialogue among us.

please see:

Short Abstract

This panel aims at exploring the production and dynamics of street-shrines in urban India. Through ethnographic work at specific shrines, each paper will contribute to describe and question the discourses and practices that form an important part of everyday religion in Indian cities.

Long Abstract

Even while India remains largely rural, hundreds of millions of people live in cities and mega-cities across its territory. This massive urban concentration is accompanied by a number of social and material rearrangements and innovations that affect the lives of these city-dwellers. From the religious perspective, in the last twenty years or so, an increase in modern so-called "mega-temples" has become part of urban religiosity; as well as the emergence of charismatic movements featuring "mega-gurus" that attract millions of devotees in India and beyond. However the development of cities has also seen an increase of street shrines. Be they Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jain or shared between different faiths, these different roadside shrines have an ubiquitous presence in the cities of India, to the point that some of them surpass main temples, churches and mosques in popularity and patronage. However they differ from the latter main temples by the apparently informal nature of the practices and discourses that take place. The panel will investigate to what extent these shrines are important sites for the individual sense of belonging to particular localities and/or to particular communities. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in one specific site or on different connected sites, each paper will contribute to describe and question the discourses and practices at stake in what appears to be an important part of the everyday religion in Indian cities.

Please feel free to forward this call to other interested colleagues!

Looking forward very much to your contributions and to a fruitful and interesting panel session,

With apologies for cross-posting and best wishes, 

Borayin Larios & Raphael Voix


Borayin Larios
Jägerpfad 13
69118 Heidelberg