This is a study of a Hindu community in diaspora. Based on analysis of fieldwork data that was collected among second-generation North Indian Hindus in the city of Oslo, the thesis identifies various tendencies among informants that are described as changes in their conceptualisation of religion. The thesis argues that these changes amount to a convergence with conceptualisations of religion that are common in their Norwegian host society. The way that informants think about religion, in other words, appears to be approaching the way that many Norwegians think about religion.

One of the conclusions drawn from this observation is that although informants retain a clear sense of Hindu identity in terms of observable praxis and self-understanding, their concept of the category of religion displays structural similarities with concepts of religion found in Western European thought.

The transition between different types of conceptualisation is analysed as a shift between the Hindu notion of dharma, and Western conceptualisations of religion, such they are found in e.g. the traditions of Protestantism, and which are influential in Norway. While discussing this shift, the Hindu notion of dharma is proposed as a yardstick for important aspects of conceptualisations of religion among Hindus. The justification for doing so is taken from the argument that the notion of dharma is a supplier of assumptions and premises for concepts of religion that are common among Hindus.
The thesis provides several examples from the field data of shifts between dharma and Western European conceptualisations of religion. In this respect the thesis documents an important aspect of change in a diaspora Hindu community.
A Shift in Dharma
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Utgitt år – 2002

Utgiver – UiO

Undertittel – Changes in Conceptualisations of Faith Among Second-Generation Hindus in Oslo

Språk – Engelsk

Antall sider – 171

Dokumenttype – Masteroppgave