Sikh Philosophy

Author: Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair

Link: “Sikh Philosophy” in The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies, ed. Pashaura Singh and Lou Fenech, New York: Oxford University Press, 2014

About: This article discusses the relevance and viability of ‘Sikh Philosophy’ to the study of Sikhism. The term Sikh philosophy can be regarded as conceptually synonymous with terms central to the Sikh lexicon, such as gurmat (the teachings and practice of the Sikh Gurus). It refers on the one hand to internal discourses such as the variety of exegeses of Sikh scripture and related literature. On the other hand Sikh philosophy points towards the possibility of an external engagement with concepts of other cultures, a process that is materialized today not only through modes of public reasoning by Sikh thinkers and exegetes but through the everyday lived experience of cultural encounter of that ordinary Sikhs must undergo. Based on the degree of their repetition in Sikh literature and praxis, as well as their potential applicability to universally human themes, the chapter outlines a selection of key concepts for any future Sikh philosophy.


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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