The Sikh religion has a following of over 20 million people worldwide and is ranked as the world's 5th largest religion. However, events such as the verbal and physical attacks on Sikhs just after September 11 indicated that Sikhs were being mistaken for Muslims, and suggests that the raising of sufficient and appropriate awareness about Sikhism still needs to be addressed. This book will introduce newcomers to Sikhism's meanings and myths, and its practices, rituals, and festivals. The key threads in the fascinating history of the religion will be highlighted, from the Gurus and the development of the Sikh look, to martyrdom and militarization in the 17th and 18th Centuries and the diaspora. Eleanor Nesbitt brings the subject completely up to date with an examination of gender and caste, referring to films, such as Bend It Like Beckham, and media reportings of caste, infanticide, and foeticide.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction ; 2. Guru Nanak and his first successors ; 3. Guru Granth Sahib ; 4. Turban, Khalsa, and codes of conduct ; 5. The Nineteenth Century ; 6. The Twentieth Century: Ways of being Sikh ; 7. Sikhism outside India ; 8. Attitudes to caste, gender, and other faiths ; 9. Religion in the Twenty-first Century
Eleanor Nesbitt specialises in ethnographic study of the UK's Hindu and Sikh communities. She is Reader in Religions and Education at the Institute of Education, University of Warwick. Her books include: Intercultural Education: Ethnographic and Religious Approaches; Interfaith Pilgrims; The Religious Lives of Sikh Children: A Coventry Based Study; Guru Nanak (with Gopinder Kaur); and Hindu Children in Britain (with Robert Jackson).