Rinku Lamba



Assistant Professor, Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi (India)

Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
June 2017−July 2018

Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
»Religion and Persuasion. An Analysis of Bhakti«

Project outline:
The research project I would like to undertake in Frankfurt and at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften will be about the place of bhakti in shaping pre-colonial social imaginaries and constituting the culture of democracy on the Indian subcontinent. Bhakti has not yet received attention from political theorists, but it has deservedly been the subject of very exciting studies in the disciplines of religious studies and history of south Asia. I have learned a lot from this scholarship and would now like to write a monograph where I may address, as a political theorist, the connections between religion, hierarchies and democracy ensconced within bhakti. (Rinku Lamba)

Funding of the stay:
»Justitia Amplificata. Rethinking Justice − Applied and Global«

Scholarly profile of Rinku Lamba


Rinku Lamba earned her doctorate in political scence at the University of Toronto in March 2008 with a thesis entitled »Religious Minorities, the Postcolonial State and the Politics of Non−Domination«. Rinku Lamba is also a member of the DFG funded Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies »Multiple Secularities–Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities« at the University of Leipzig.

Main areas of research:
Contemporary Political Theory (including multiculturalism and secularism), Political Institutions, Modern Indian social and political thought.

Selected publications:
  1. (Ed. alongside with Paul Bramadat), Special Section »Managing Religious Diversity in India, China and Canada.«, in: Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses , No. 45/4 (2016), p. 465–580.
  2. »Gandhi’s Response to Religious Conflict«, in: Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses , No. 45/4 (2016), p. 470–5.
  3. »Two Faces of State Power«, in: Recognition versus Self-Determination: Dilemmas of Emancipatory Politics, ed. by Avigail Eisenberg a.o., Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press 2014, p. 75–100.
  4. »State Intervention in the Reform of a ›Religion of Rules‹: An Analysis of the Views of B.R. Ambedkar«, in: Secular States and Religious Diversity, ed. by Bruce Berman, Rajeev Bhargava, and André Laliberté, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press 2013, p. 187–206.
  5. »Nationalism«, in: Indian Political Thought, ed. by Pradip Kumar Datta, Sanjay Palshikar and Achin Vanaik, New Delhi: Oxford University Press 2013, p. 121–149.
  6. »Political Institutions for Remedying Caste and Sex-based Hierarchies: A View from Colonial India«, in: Accommodating Diversity: Ideas and Institutional Practices, ed. by Gurpreet Mahajan, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011.
  7. »Bringing the State Back in, Yet Again: The Debate over Socioreligious Reform in Late-Nineteenth-Century India«, in: Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, No. 29/2 (2009), p. 186-200.