Lived Abstractions: Sikh Philosophy as a Practice of Everyday Life

Author: Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair

Link: “Lived Abstractions: Sikh Philosophy as a Practice of Everyday Life”, Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory, Vol. 11, No. 1-2, 2015: 174-189

About: This paper is part of a series of connected essays that examine the conceptual formation called ‘Sikh Philosophy’. The essay seeks to understand why ‘Sikh Philosophy’ may have been marginalized or excluded in conventional Sikh studies, and explores ways of expanding the boundaries of Sikh studies to include it as a valid mode of inquiry. The essay begins by positing some possible objections to the viability of ‘Sikh philosophy’ including a reconsideration of the notion of lived experience or the lived aspect of Sikhism in relation to the phenomenological doctrine of the ‘living present’ that holds sway in religious studies. The second part of the paper sets the ground for a more detailed future inquiry by presenting a loosely formulated thought-experiment on the initial task of ‘Sikh philosophy’, which would be to revitalize the Sikh concepts as the basic temporal components of a Sikh lifeworld.


Arvind-Pal S. Mandair
Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures 

Tara Singh & Balwant Kaur Chattha, Gurbax Singh & Kirpal Kaur Brar Professor of Sikh Studies

Philosophy/Religion/Postcolonial Theory/Sikh Studies/South Asian Studies

Office: 202 South Thayer Street
Office 6016
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608

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