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The development of early Sikh thought and Guruship in the context of Indian religious movements and the socio-religious milieu

Lallie, Harjinder Singh (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This study examines the development of Sikh thought during the early period of Sikhism (vis-à-vis the period of Guru Nanak’s life) with a particular unique emphasis on ideologies that may have contributed towards the development of Sikhism as a religion as opposed to a sect within Hinduism. The life of Guru Nanak and his views towards key issues such as Guruship and varan are compared within the context of the bhagti movement in order to establish particular nuances developed by Guru Nanak. Key questions are addressed relating to the origins of Sikh thought by investigating the relationship and influences on Guru Nanak of bhagats such as Kabir. This study finds that there is little evidence to prove that Guru Nanak was influenced solely and uniquely by any bhagat within the bhagti movement. Whilst varan based influences had an adverse effect on the development of some of the bhagti movements, Guru Nanak’s view and attitude towards varan differed to that of the bhagats and ensured that Sikhism was less prone to adverse varan based influences. The study also finds that Guru Nanak’s views on Guruship were a key factor in contributing towards the longevity of his movement and establishing the foundations from which his successor Guru Angad Dev could continue the development thereof.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Jhutti-Johal, Jagbir
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Theology and Religion
Subjects:B Philosophy (General)
BL Religion
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:996
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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