Free Read Friday - Sacred Modernity

Posted on March 31, 2016 by Katherine Pulman

It's that time again - no, not April Fool's Day - we have another exciting Free Read Friday offer for you! This time we're offering:

Sacred Modernity

by Tariq Jazeel

Sacred Modernity argues how everyday non-secular experiences of the natural world in Sri Lanka perpetuate ethno-religious identitarian narratives. It demonstrates the relationships between spaces of nature and environment and an ongoing aesthetic and spatial constitution of power and the political in which Theravada Buddhism is centrally implicated. To do this, the book works consecutively through two in-depth case studies, both of which are prominent sites through which Sri Lankan nature and environment are commodified: first, the country’s most famous national park, Ruhuna (Yala), and second, its post-1950s modernist environmental architecture, ‘tropical modernism’. By engaging these sites, the book reveals how commonplace historical understandings as well as commonplace material negotiations of the seductions of Sri Lankan nature are never far from the continued production of a post-independent national identity marked ethnically as Sinhalese and religiously as Buddhist. In the Sri Lankan context this minoritizes Tamil, Muslim and Christian non-Sinhala difference in the nation-state's natural, environmental and historical order of things. To make this argument, the book writes against the grain of Eurocentric social scientific understandings of the concepts 'nature' and 'religion'. It argues that these concepts and their implicit binary mobilizations of nature/culture and the sacred/secular respectively, struggle to make visible the pervasive ways that Buddhism – thought instead as a ‘structure of feeling’ or aesthetics – simultaneously naturalizes and ethnicizes the fabric of the national in contemporary Sri Lanka. Sacred Modernity shows the care and postcolonial methodological sensitivity required to understand how ‘nature’ and ‘religion’ might be thought through non-EuroAmerican field contexts, especially those in South Asia.
Expansive and intelligent ... [Sacred Modernity is] an entertaining and intellectually stimulating book.
Pablo Mukherjee, University of Warwick


Follow the instructions below to begin the download of your Free Read Friday title.

How to download Sacred Modernity by Tariq Jazeel:

  1. Go to our website: 
  2. Select ‘ADD TO CART’
  3. Follow to your cart and click ‘CHECKOUT’
  4. Fill out your customer details
  5. Click to enter your discount code where prompted, entering FreeReadFriday and click ‘APPLY’
  6. Press continue to complete your order, your account will not be charged.
  7. If you do not already have Adobe Digital Editions, you’ll need to download this (also for free!) here:
  8. Select your chosen download for either Macintosh or Windows
  9. Save, Open, Run and follow the prompts through to installation. It is not necessary to create home shortcuts for this programme but ensure that you tick ‘Associate .acsm and .epub file types’
  10. Closing the installer once set up is complete will open the programme
  11. From here, simply go to File > Add to Library > then select your download of Sacred Modernity to begin reading
  12. Enjoy! 
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Check our twitter for updates on the next #FreeReadFriday as well as LUP news and new books published!

Previous #FreeReadFriday titles have included:

-London Underground by David Ashford

-Zachary Macaulay 1768-1838 by Iain Whyte

-Language and Literary Form in French Caribbean Writing by Celia Britton

-Labour and the Caucus by James Owen

-Assia Djebar: Out of Algeria by Jane Hiddleston

-The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Ireland Conflict by Stephen Hopkins

-The Time Machines: The Story of the Science-Fiction Pulp Magazines from the Beginning to 1950 by Mike Ashley

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