TOPIC: Religions of Asia in the US
Post answers to two of the following questions
Sarma, Deepak, “The Final Sacrifice”
1. Why does Sarma begin his article speaking of Hinduism as an “imaginary religious tradition”? What does he mean by that? And why might contemporary Hindus object?
2. To investigate the question of Shankara’s death, Sarma turns first to the śātras. Why? What are the śāstras and what is their relation to the everyday practice of contemporary Hindus?
Zhang, “Standing Up Against Racial Discrimination“
3. In Zhang’s account, why were the social effects that widespread racial discrimination had on the Chinese, the majority of whom (at least in initial generations) were male laborers from southern Chinese provinces? What is the relationship between racial discrimination and the establishment of ethnic enclaves (Chinatowns)?
4. At the end of his article Zhang repeats the commonplace refrain that “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” What can we learn from the systemic racism of the Exclusion Era, including the debates on the Chinese Exclusion Act and the idealism of providential rights to westward expansion (Manifest Destiny).
Park, “The Eating Ritual in Korean Religiosity,” in Dying to Eat:
5. Korean religion is often marked by syncretism between Buddhism, shamanism, ancestor worship, Confucianism, and Christianity. Explain how the ritual occasion of Young San Jae exhibits syncretic properties.
6. Often the preparation and consumption of food is a key element in ritual. What are some of the ways that Park shows that food preparation and consumption is marked as special for ritual occasions and different from everyday cooking eating in Korea?
Falcone, “Seeking Recognition”:
7. How did the Sikh American community initially respond to the racial targeting and violence against their community in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks?
8. How did the notion of ‘homeland’ get reiterated in relation to advocacy for the Khalistan movement and the claiming of America as home in post- 9/11 America.