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date: 19 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the genesis, evolution, and canonization of the foundational text of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib. Taking a radically different approach from other contesting views, it offers a theory of ‘working drafts’ prepared under the direct supervision of Guru Arjan to understand the process of canon formation. It seeks to understand plurality of textual meanings and actual performative practices related to liturgy, ceremonies, and communal solidarity. It examines the ongoing role of the Adi Granth as ‘Guru’, both as a normative source of authority and as a prodigious living force in personal and corporate spheres of the Sikh Panth.

Keywords: Adi Granth, canon, canon formation, Guru, Guru Granth Sahib, performative practices, scripture, Sikhism, Sikh Panth, textual meaning

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