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Home is Where the Mūrtis Are

‘Home is Where the Mūrtis Are: A Hindustani Community and its Temple in Wijchen, the Netherlands’, Journal of Religion in Europe (2/2, 2009) in a special issue ‘Hindu Ritual Dynamics: Case Studies from Contemporary Western Europe’, guest-edited by Albertina Nugteren, pp. 115-148.


The contributions published in this special guest-edited issue of Journal of Religion in Europe are based on papers presented during an expert seminar titled 'Hindus Today: Re-Creating Identity through Ritual', organised by the Department of Religious Studies together with Babylon (Center for the Study of Multicultural Society), both of Tilburg University, on the 8th of May, 2007.


Albertina Nugteren’s article focuses on a local Hindu temple community. Its location is outside the general concentration area in the western part of the Netherlands, and this fact makes it all the more remarkable that they recently managed their own purposely designed temple in Wijchen.


Two particular aspects are elaborated on: the transformative effect on the participants of having properly installed deities, and the process of ‘sattvicification’ that set in with the new temple. The question is raised as to how such ideals of ritual purity in a non-brahmanic temple tend to also attract non-Hindus with a yogic lifestyle, but at the same time could present too high an ideal for average Hindustanis.


Finally, the question of how temples and their priests have to respond to the multidirectional shifts both inside their own communities and in the surrounding society links up with the core issue of the collection of articles gathered in this volume.

Belief, Bounty and Beauty Hinduism: Past and Present God as an Alternative? Rituals around the Bodhi-tree The Play of Love and Covert Rebellion From Cosmos to Commodity Disaster Rituals A Strong Current