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date: 27 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter contrasts the contextualization of the Hindu bhajan in Christian churches in North India with its recontextualization as a medium of worship in North America. The author discusses his engagement with “Yeshu bhakti,” a North Indian Hindu modality of devotion (bhakti) focused on Jesus Christ (Yeshu) as the “God of choice.” The band Aradhna, composed of the children of missionaries to India and Nepal, draws on its members’ multiple musical backgrounds to present a “third” religious domain, derived from Hinduism and Christianity. The chapter shows how Aradhna’s music tries to draw together different religious traditions, focusing on their points of conversion. Addressing possible problems of cultural and religious ownership in the band’s practice, the author notes that Aradhna aims to create a new religious space, a meeting place of musics and religions that is something new—and an alternative to Eurocentric Christianity.

Keywords: Christianity, music, India, diaspora, North America, Hindu, bhajan, devotion, bhakti, missions

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