The South Asian Religious Diaspora in Britain, Canada, and the United States

Edited by Harold Coward, John R. Hinnells, and Raymond Brady Williams

Subjects: Asian Studies
Series: SUNY series in Religious Studies
Paperback : 9780791445105, 311 pages, February 2000
Hardcover : 9780791445099, 311 pages, February 2000

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Table of contents

Introduction: South Asian Religions in Migration
John R. Hinnells

1. South Asian Christians in Britain, Canada, and the United States
Raymond Brady Williams

2. The Zoroastrian Diaspora in Britain, Canada, and the United States
John R. Hinnells

3. New Religious Movements in the West Led by South Asians
Judith Coney

Part I: South Asians in Britain—Introduction
John R. Hinnells

4. Hinduism in Britain
Kim Knott

5. Muslims in Britain: Ethnic Minorities, Community, or Ummah?
Jørgen S. Nielsen

6. The Growth and Changing Character of the Sikh Presence in Britain
Roger Ballar

Part II: South Asians in Canada—Introduction
Harold Coward

7. Hinduism in Canada
Harold Coward

8. The Muslims of Canada
Sheila Mcdonough

9. Sikh Religio-Ethnic Experience in Canada
Joseph T. O'connell

Part III: South Asians in the United States—Introduction
Raymond Brady Williams

10. Negotiating Hindu Identities in America
Diana L. Eck

11. At Home in the Hijra: South Asian Muslims in the United States
Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad

12. Sikhism in the United States of America
Gurinder Singh Mann

Conclusion: Trajectories for Future Studies
Raymond Brady Williams

List of Contributors


Explores religious experience in the South Asian immigrant communities of Britain, Canada, and the United States.


This book explores the experience of religious communities that have migrated from South Asia (India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) to live in Britain, Canada, and the United States, three countries sharing a common language (English) and an interwoven history. The work introduces the migration history of Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs along with the cultural nuances of these traditions. The contributors discuss the various communities' experiences that grow out of or are related to religion. The book shows how traditions are reformed or reinvented and how they are passed on, both through the family and through institutions. Issues related to public policy and minority status are also addressed. While the main focus is on the Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh communities, specific sections also cover South Asian Christians, the Zoroastrian diaspora, and new religious movements in the West led by South Asians. The book strikes a balance between stories and statistics in order to emphasize the narrative of the immigrants' experience.

[Contributors include: Roger Ballard, Judith Coney, Harold Coward, Diana L. Eck, Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, John R. Hinnells, Kim Knott, Gurinder Singh Mann, Sheila McDonough, Jørgen S. Nielsen, Joseph T. O'Connell, and Raymond Brady Williams.]

Harold Coward is Director at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and coeditor of Visions of a New Earth, with Daniel C. Maguire, also from SUNY Press. John R. Hinnells is Research Professor of Comparative Religion at the University of Derby, England, and author of Zoroastrians in Britain. Raymond Brady Williams, LaFollette Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Wabash College in Indiana, is the author of Religions of Immigrants from India and Pakistan: New Threads in the American Tapestry.


"The volume's contributors are scholars known and respected in their fields; their input to this volume is professional and scholarly. The individual chapters are informative and insightful. The main contribution of the book, though, is the cumulative impact of bringing so much information before the readers. The book takes up a very important and timely topic, the increasingly religiously and culturally significant presence of South Asians in the West." — Francis X. Clooney, S.J., author of Theology After Vedanta and Seeing Through Texts