Journal Article

Embodied Cosmologies: Sights of Piety, Sites of Power

Vasudha Narayanan

in Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Published on behalf of American Academy of Religion

Volume 71, issue 3, pages 495-520
Published in print September 2003 | ISSN: 0002-7189
Published online September 2003 | e-ISSN: 1477-4585 | DOI:
Embodied Cosmologies: Sights of Piety, Sites of Power

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Epistemic pluralism is not only limited to gender, class, and race but also to different ways of apprehension, different ways of knowing. Dances, temples, cities, medical therapies, and so on are embodied ways in which knowledge was transmitted in precolonial cultures and still continues to be transmitted in many diasporic realms. The privileging of the written text and beliefs by dominant, hegemonic cultures has led to the marginalization of other ways of knowing, other sources of knowledge. By decolonizing methodologies, by dismantling the authority paradigms based on texts alone, and by understanding indigenous knowledge systems that may overlap like the fields of a Venn diagram in some cultures, we begin to explore the intersection of “globalization past” with “globalization present.” The lived experience, the experiences of space and time through performing arts, art and architecture, and food are all significant and not just in the department of anthropology or in the school of fine arts. These are all very important and underutilized resources in our academy. I argue for valorizing what we call interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary methods and for looking beyond traditional Eurocentric constructions of fields and disciplines.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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