Sikhism: A Very Short Introduction (2nd Revised edition)

ISBN : 9780198745570

Eleanor Nesbitt
176 Pages
112 x 174 mm
Pub date
Apr 2016
Very Short Introductions


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  • Provides a wide-ranging, authoritative presentation of Sikh thought and history with sensitivity and balance, without avoiding controversial aspects
  • Introduces readers to current and emerging issues for Sikhs today
  • Builds on previous research and draws on the most recent theories to provide an introduction that is current and relevant

The Sikh religion has a following of over 20 million people worldwide. However,events such as the verbal and physical attacks on Sikhs just after September 11, where Sikhs were being mistaken for Muslims, suggest that the Sikh faith still remains mysterious to many.

This Very Short Introduction introduces newcomers to the meaning of the Sikh religious tradition, its teachings, practices, rituals and festivals. Eleanor Nesbitt highlights and contextualizes the key threads in the history of Sikhism, from the first Gurus to martyrdom, militarization, and the increasingly significant diaspora. Examining gender, caste, and the changes that are currently underway in the faith, Nesbitt considers contemporary Sikh identities and their role in our world.
"an excellent, beautifully written, scholarly secure book ... S Geoff Teece, RE Today"


1: Introduction
2: Guru Nanak and his first successors
3: Guru Granth Sahib
4: Turban, Khalsa, and codes of conduct
5: The shaping of modern Sikhism
6: Sikhism outside India
7: Attitudes to caste, gender, and other faiths
8: Sikhism and the third millennium
Further reading

About the author: 

Eleanor Nesbitt is Professor Emeritus in the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, Centre for Education Studies, University of Warwick. Her ethnographic research has focused on the lives of young people in Sikh, Hindu, and Christian communities in the UK. Her publications include Intercultural Education: Ethnographic and Religious Approaches (Sussex Academic Press, 2004) and Interfaith Pilgrims (Quaker Books, 2003).

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