The IUP Journal of English Studies
Religion and Spirituality in Indian English Fiction

Article Details
Pub. Date : June, 2020
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES42020
Author Name : Jagdish Batra
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 11

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Abstract

That the ancient Indian culture is intertwined with religion goes without saying. However, understood and practiced as a simultaneously fixed as also changeable dharma in India, this concept befuddles the Western mind and also the West-influenced Indian mind. This study analyzes the concept of dharma to identify its constituent and differentiating elements like beliefs, scriptures, ethics, rituals, and symbols, and traces in some major texts of Indian English Fiction, from the earliest days to contemporary times, the treatment of external religious practices, texts, gurus, myths, and finally the transcendent spiritual consciousness. What the study finds is that not much focus is found on the intricacies of dharma in Indian English Fiction, in which it is mostly the exotic that catches the author’s eye. Moreover, whatever deeper we find is a reductive and oversimplified view of dharma, seen through the Western lens. However, the tide seems to be turning with some of the young generation writers seriously undertaking the journey of self-realization and making self-experience the basis of writing.


Introduction

Despite the rise of reason as the widely accepted and judicious guiding faculty for human actions and the long record of brutalities committed in the name of religion through the ages, mankind is still enamored of religion, and there hardly seems any prospect of religion losing its hold in the near future. At the same time, we are at a juncture in history where religion is ostensibly responsible for unleashing untold misery on the mankind through the terror spread by its followers. In these circumstances, the role of the litterateur in making the readers aware of the part played by religion cannot be overemphasized. This paper is an attempt to examine how the contemporary literature produced by Indian English authors views religion and to understand its positive and negative aspects.


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