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Life and Work of Guru Arjan$
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Pashaura Singh

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195679212

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195679212.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 January 2022

Reconstructing a Religious Biography

Reconstructing a Religious Biography

(p.1) 1 Reconstructing a Religious Biography
Life and Work of Guru Arjan

Pashaura Singh

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a backdrop for the entire study and lays down its foundation by addressing/defining the basic issues and concepts related to religious biographies. It not only explores the nature of religious biographies but also contrasts them with hagiographies. It discusses the approaches adopted by scholars like Frank E. Raynolds, Donald Capps, John Dominic Crossan, and W. H. McLeod. It also looks at the major trends in recent scholarship, in Sikh studies, and analyses the shift from the search for the historical figure to the current focus on memory, tradition, and representation. In reconstructing this religious biography, a multidisciplinary approach is used which encompasses insights from a variety of disciplines ranging from history to anthropology, sociology, and literary and textual studies. Before proceeding, the chapter defines certain terms and concepts such as ‘myth’, ‘culture’, tradition, and ‘hermeneutics’.

Keywords:   religious biography, hagiography, Frank E. Raynolds, Donald Capps, John Dominic Crossan, W. H. McLeod, Sikh studies, myth, hermeneutics

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