The Muslim Gandhi: Islamicate Hinduism, Alternative Communities, and Radical Religious Love


LAC Burkhardt


Religious Studies


For residence at the Islamic Studies Center at Duke University during academic year 2018-2019


This project applies new religious studies models of lived pluralism to argue for the importance of Gandhi’s underexplored engagement with Islamic traditions and Muslim leaders. It offers a genealogy of that engagement in Gandhi’s African and Indian contexts based in Urdu archives and an ethnography of the religious practices and memories of contemporary, transnational Gandhian networks. In both contexts, Gandhi’s “prejudice” in favor of Muslims and of Islam should be seen as vital to the creation of a public sphere of religious encounter and everyday ethical experimentation. Thus, while this project builds on recent scholarship on religions’ public roles in postsecular thought, it also challenges the often Eurocentric and rationalist parameters of "public reason."