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Anand Vivek Taneja; Saintly Animals: The Shifting Moral and Ecological Landscapes of North India. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 August 2015; 35 (2): 204–221. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201x-3138988
In this article I explore stories and rituals surrounding sanctified birds, snakes, cats, and stones in contemporary Delhi and rural Uttar Pradesh. These stories and rituals, while drawing on long-standing Indic and Islamic traditions that centrally feature animals, are in many ways novel and unprecedented. They serve as a critique of dominant anthropocentric discourses of religion, and they point us toward possibilities of reimagining the relations between animals and humans, especially in the face of the ecological devastation we inhabit.