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Blame Narratives and Religious Reason in the Aftermath of the 2001 Gujarat Earthquake

Simpson, Edward (2011) 'Blame Narratives and Religious Reason in the Aftermath of the 2001 Gujarat Earthquake.' South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 34 (3). pp. 421-438.

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Abstract

Recent writing on religion in Gujarat has often confused political rhetoric with common religious belief and practice. Thus, religious categories have become caricatures standing for sociological realities and totalised worldviews. In this scheme, ‘Hindus’ and ‘Muslims’ are supposed to believe different things which ensure that they see and act in the world quite differently. In this paper, I examine the narratives of blame that emerged after the 2001 earthquake in Gujarat. The ethnography suggests that although religious identity plays a role in the way blame is cast, people of different religious communities also use common frames of logic and their shared experiences of shock and alienation to explain catastrophe. The religious reasoning of blame narratives is therefore shown to have a broader cultural existence outside the boundaries of particular religious identities.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Anthropology and Sociology
ISSN: 00856401
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1080/00856401.2011.620554
Depositing User: Edward Simpson
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2012 14:15
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/13203

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