Accepted paper:

An ideal Vedic city: inhabiting the space between an enchanted past and a utopian future

Author:

John Fahy (University of Cambridge )

Paper short abstract:

With a focus on the tradition of storytelling, this paper looks at how devotees of Krishna in Mayapur, West Bengal experience the space between an ideal past and a prophesied future.

Paper long abstract:

This paper looks at how devotees of Krishna in Mayapur, West Bengal experience the space between an ideal past and a prophesied future. Through an affective and imaginative engagement with Vaishnav cultural history, devotees learn to relocate themselves in a particular temporal flow, within which both the past and future become constitutive horizons of the ethical imagination. I focus on how the tradition of katha (storytelling) facilitates a convergence of temporalities, within which devotees are encouraged to routinely participate in the past. Such engagement with an enchanted past, I argue, in turn informs devotees' imaginings of and aspirations for the ongoing development of an 'Ideal Vedic City'.

panel Reli007
Ritual and the utopian past