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(5,330 words)

Author(s): Burger, Maya
“Kabīrpanth” designates a religious community having Kabīr, the 15th-/16th-century poet, as its central reference and founding figure. Though usually the term “Kabīrpanth” is used in the singular, there are many branches ( śākhās) and sub-branches ( upaśākhās) that can be very different from one another. The adherents to the Kabīrpanth are known as the Panthīs. The study of the Kabīrpanth bears testimony to the complex and controversial heritage of Kabīr, and some methodological precautions may be useful. Firstly, it is necessary to distinguish between the perspective of the Panthīs themselves (emic) and the scholarly approach (etic). Both have their own values and both work with the same sources, but with different epistemological premises and goals. Secondly, the colonial episteme (Agrawal, 2010a) inherent in many studies deserves critical questioning, even more so as the Kabīr legacy today serves to support social and political demands, for example by Dalit identity claims. Thirdly, the Kabīrpanth (and of course Kabīr) needs to be studied and interpreted against the background of the wider influential field of religious traditions in their historical contexts. Lastly, the general description …
Date: 2019-01-30


(5,093 words)

Author(s): Burger, Maya
In the 15th–16th centuries, t…
Date: 2019-01-30

Elements, The

(329 words)

Author(s): Burger, Maya
[German Version] The concept of the elements as chemically indivisible material dates to the 17th century. The importance of the elements for religious studies depends on their value in cosmogony, symbolism, ritual, and the total visions of the world and humanity (e.g. traditional science, medicine, alchemy, astrology, anthropology, metaphysics). Earth, water, and fire occur in a…


(1,365 words)

Author(s): Burger, Maya | Gunton, Colin
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. History of Dogma and Dogmatics I. Religious Studies Until very recently, the use of the term incarnation