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Filing Religion – State, Hinduism, and Courts of Law - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Filing Religion: State, Hinduism, and Courts of Law

Daniela Berti, Gilles Tarabout, and Raphaël Voix


The Indian Constitution posits a separation between a secular domain that the state regulates and a religious domain in which it should not interfere. However, defining the separation between the two has proved contentious—the state is directly involved in the administration of several religious institutions and the courts are regularly asked to decide on rights linked to religious functions and bodies. Such decisions contribute to (re)defining the religious categories and practices. This volume explores how the apparently ‘technical’-legalistic action taking place in the courts of law signifi ... More

Keywords: Hinduism, secularism, legal anthropology, religious anthropology, case studies, law courts, Supreme Court of India, religious change, India, Nepal

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199463794
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463794.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniela Berti, editor
Social anthropologist and research fellow at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Paris, and a member of the Centre for Himalayan Studies (CEH), Villejuif

Gilles Tarabout, editor
Social anthropologist and Emeritus Senior Fellow at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Paris

Raphaël Voix, editor
Research fellow at National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Paris, and a member of the Center for Indian and South Asian Studies (CEIAS)

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Section I Secular Issues and Court Practice

1 Birth vs Merit

Gilles Tarabout

2 National Gods at Court

Chiara Letizia

Section II Gods’ Affairs

3 Plaintiff Deities

Daniela Berti

5 Slaves and Sons

Ute Hüsken

Section III Ascetics and The Law

8 ‘This Land is Mine’

Malavika Kasturi

Section IV Personal Law: Twists and Turns

11 Unfair Advantage?

Srimati Basu