Adam’s Bridge

Sacrality, Performance, and Heritage of an Oceanic Marvel

«

"Adam’s Bridge: Sacrality, Performance, and Heritage of an Oceanic Marvel is a fascinating contribution to study of space and spatial infrastructure as it braids environmental concerns, and sacred belief with discursive insights into the Anthropocene. It is the outcome of serious archival research and interpretive analysis."

Lakshmi Subramanian, Distinguished Scholar and Author; Historian and Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, BITS Pilani, Goa; formerly, Professor at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta

"Arup K. Chatterjee tells a captivating story of a unique feature, spellbinding in its geology and symbolism—a sacred space; the work of Gods; an oft-neglected link that connects Tamil Nadu/India and Sri Lanka. For Hindus, it is a land bridge built by a monkey army so that God Rama could rescue his beloved Sita from the demon-king Ravana, in the kingdom of Lanka. For geographers, it is a unique terraqueous ecosystem with 103 tiny reefs and sandbanks, with islets appearing at low tide. For Muslims, it is the causeway that allowed Adam, the first Man, to leave the Garden of Eden (Lanka) and proceed to the Asian mainland. For historians, it was an unbroken causeway until breached by a fierce tropical storm in 1480; and the site of thriving port city of Dhanushkodi, until it was abandoned after yet another devastating storm that killed some 1,800 people in 1964. For Indian and Sri Lankan nationalists, it is the site of tension, as one suspicious side accuses the other of dubious motives for interest and investment. For the thousands of species who live there, it is home. An ocean marvel indeed, and more besides. With this book, Chatterjee walks us through the multiple representations of this unique formation, perched graciously yet perilously betwixt two countries, land and sea, sacral and temporal, calm and tumult."

Godfrey Baldacchino, Distinguished Scholar and Author; Professor of Sociology, University of Malta; Founding Editor, Island Studies Journal

"Arup K. Chatterjee’s Adam’s Bridge provides a scholarly socio-cultural insight into an enchanting geological feature called the Adam’s Bridge, a linear coralline ridge separating a shallow sea between Pamban Island on the southeast coast of India and Mannar Island on the northern coast of Sri Lanka. A part of the Hindu mythological lore celebrated as the mythical Rama’s bridge, it became a hot topic of discussion both among environmental scientists and among religious enthusiasts, ever since the government mooted the idea of dredging a navigable route through the limestone shoals of Ram Setu. This book takes us through a complex web of ethnography, historiography, and ecological equity concerning this oceanic structure. In this most profound and eloquently written work I have read on Adam’s Bridge (Ram Setu), the author enables us to think about ways of heritagization of this marvel of nature by fostering cross-cultural collaborative efforts. Indeed, a fascinating book and a must-read!"

C.P. Rajendran, Distinguished Scholar and Author; Professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; and National Geoscience Awardee

"Considering the evolving geopolitics of southern South Asia, bridging the sea between India and Sri Lanka may perhaps soon get on policy radar screens. By delving into history, historiography, geology, ecology, politics, economics, mythology, and more, Arup K. Chatterjee provides a fascinating background to the physical structures and legend-based structuration of Adam’s Bridge that may very well shape South Asian futures in this century."

Nikhilesh Dholakia, Distinguished Scholar and Author; Professor Emeritus, International Business, University of Rhode Island

"Arup K. Chatterjee has made a landmark contribution to South Asia’s coastal histories. Meticulously researched, this book is an epic, interrogative excavation of India’s Adam’s Bridge. Enchanting and exhaustive, it is a provocative inquiry into the intertwining legacies of colonialism, decoloniality, and island geologies."

May Joseph, Distinguished Scholar and Author; Professor of Social Science and Cultural Studies, Pratt Institute, New York; Founder, Harmattan Theater, New York

"Adam’s Bridge: Sacrality, Performance and Heritage of an Oceanic Marvel is a fascinating study of the historiography of the eponymous structure (also known as Ram Setu), touching upon several entangled threads on myth, literature, colonial narrative, and contemporary politics. It empowers an understanding of how the idea of Adam’s Bridge/Ram Setu became infused with power over the minds of people. This dispassionate analysis reveals that much of the current controversy related to it is public theatre – a cognitive category the distinguished American anthropologist Clifford Geertz saw as a useful lens in interpreting the history and evolution of religious landscapes."

Subhash Kak, Distinguished Scholar and Author; Regents Professor of Computer Science, Oklahoma State University-Stillwater; Member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council

"Melting the boundaries between the sacral traditions of Ram Setu and geoscientific knowledge about Adam’s Bridge, Arup K. Chatterjee offers a fascinating account of the tombolo stretching from India to Sri Lanka. The story of origins, politics, diplomacy, ecology, and the troubling concerns of the Anthropocene, is pertinent to the current debates about dredging the area. What are the risks and gains to the people and the planet? How do ancient beliefs interface with modern commerce? Impressive scholarship and cultural sensitivity make Adam’s Bridge highly significant and wonderfully engaging."

Malashri Lal, Distinguished scholar; Professor and Former Head, Department of English, and Dean of Colleges, University of Delhi; Convener, English Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi.

"Arup K. Chatterjee’s latest book, Adam’s Bridge: Sacrality, Performance, and Heritage of an Oceanic Marvel (Routledge UK, 2024) is unique, as is the subject of this formidably complex and multilayered volume ... a fine book-length revelation of Adam’s Bridge or Ram Setu as a magnificent and enchanting ‘tombolo’ whether seen from soteriological or geological perspectives! ... Chatterjee recounts an intriguing saga, previously very little known, plausibly told through discourses traversing history, geology, mythology, legends, political, cultural, and geostrategic mores, in a most delightful way. Adam’s Bridge will inevitably stimulate further thought and pronouncements by those fascinated by the world’s natural and anthropogenic geography, its civilization, and its amazing place in our collective minds. I recommend this book to both academic and non-academic readers most enthusiastically!"

Richard Cathcart, Distinguished scholar, geographer, and Founding Director and Head of the Department, Geographos, Burbank, California, USA. Appeared in The Australia Today

"Adam's Bridge is a superb addition to the emerging discipline of oceanic and island studies. It presents an engrossing academic analysis of the social, economic, and cultural heritage surrounding the structure in the Gulf of Manner to pick apart a region's multifaceted historiography."

The Telegraph, India

»

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Detaljer

Forlag
Routledge
Innbinding
Innbundet
Språk
Engelsk
Sider
240
ISBN
9781032335476
Utgivelsesår
2024
Format
23 x 16 cm

Anmeldelser

«

"Adam’s Bridge: Sacrality, Performance, and Heritage of an Oceanic Marvel is a fascinating contribution to study of space and spatial infrastructure as it braids environmental concerns, and sacred belief with discursive insights into the Anthropocene. It is the outcome of serious archival research and interpretive analysis."

Lakshmi Subramanian, Distinguished Scholar and Author; Historian and Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, BITS Pilani, Goa; formerly, Professor at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta

"Arup K. Chatterjee tells a captivating story of a unique feature, spellbinding in its geology and symbolism—a sacred space; the work of Gods; an oft-neglected link that connects Tamil Nadu/India and Sri Lanka. For Hindus, it is a land bridge built by a monkey army so that God Rama could rescue his beloved Sita from the demon-king Ravana, in the kingdom of Lanka. For geographers, it is a unique terraqueous ecosystem with 103 tiny reefs and sandbanks, with islets appearing at low tide. For Muslims, it is the causeway that allowed Adam, the first Man, to leave the Garden of Eden (Lanka) and proceed to the Asian mainland. For historians, it was an unbroken causeway until breached by a fierce tropical storm in 1480; and the site of thriving port city of Dhanushkodi, until it was abandoned after yet another devastating storm that killed some 1,800 people in 1964. For Indian and Sri Lankan nationalists, it is the site of tension, as one suspicious side accuses the other of dubious motives for interest and investment. For the thousands of species who live there, it is home. An ocean marvel indeed, and more besides. With this book, Chatterjee walks us through the multiple representations of this unique formation, perched graciously yet perilously betwixt two countries, land and sea, sacral and temporal, calm and tumult."

Godfrey Baldacchino, Distinguished Scholar and Author; Professor of Sociology, University of Malta; Founding Editor, Island Studies Journal

"Arup K. Chatterjee’s Adam’s Bridge provides a scholarly socio-cultural insight into an enchanting geological feature called the Adam’s Bridge, a linear coralline ridge separating a shallow sea between Pamban Island on the southeast coast of India and Mannar Island on the northern coast of Sri Lanka. A part of the Hindu mythological lore celebrated as the mythical Rama’s bridge, it became a hot topic of discussion both among environmental scientists and among religious enthusiasts, ever since the government mooted the idea of dredging a navigable route through the limestone shoals of Ram Setu. This book takes us through a complex web of ethnography, historiography, and ecological equity concerning this oceanic structure. In this most profound and eloquently written work I have read on Adam’s Bridge (Ram Setu), the author enables us to think about ways of heritagization of this marvel of nature by fostering cross-cultural collaborative efforts. Indeed, a fascinating book and a must-read!"

C.P. Rajendran, Distinguished Scholar and Author; Professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; and National Geoscience Awardee

"Considering the evolving geopolitics of southern South Asia, bridging the sea between India and Sri Lanka may perhaps soon get on policy radar screens. By delving into history, historiography, geology, ecology, politics, economics, mythology, and more, Arup K. Chatterjee provides a fascinating background to the physical structures and legend-based structuration of Adam’s Bridge that may very well shape South Asian futures in this century."

Nikhilesh Dholakia, Distinguished Scholar and Author; Professor Emeritus, International Business, University of Rhode Island

"Arup K. Chatterjee has made a landmark contribution to South Asia’s coastal histories. Meticulously researched, this book is an epic, interrogative excavation of India’s Adam’s Bridge. Enchanting and exhaustive, it is a provocative inquiry into the intertwining legacies of colonialism, decoloniality, and island geologies."

May Joseph, Distinguished Scholar and Author; Professor of Social Science and Cultural Studies, Pratt Institute, New York; Founder, Harmattan Theater, New York

"Adam’s Bridge: Sacrality, Performance and Heritage of an Oceanic Marvel is a fascinating study of the historiography of the eponymous structure (also known as Ram Setu), touching upon several entangled threads on myth, literature, colonial narrative, and contemporary politics. It empowers an understanding of how the idea of Adam’s Bridge/Ram Setu became infused with power over the minds of people. This dispassionate analysis reveals that much of the current controversy related to it is public theatre – a cognitive category the distinguished American anthropologist Clifford Geertz saw as a useful lens in interpreting the history and evolution of religious landscapes."

Subhash Kak, Distinguished Scholar and Author; Regents Professor of Computer Science, Oklahoma State University-Stillwater; Member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council

"Melting the boundaries between the sacral traditions of Ram Setu and geoscientific knowledge about Adam’s Bridge, Arup K. Chatterjee offers a fascinating account of the tombolo stretching from India to Sri Lanka. The story of origins, politics, diplomacy, ecology, and the troubling concerns of the Anthropocene, is pertinent to the current debates about dredging the area. What are the risks and gains to the people and the planet? How do ancient beliefs interface with modern commerce? Impressive scholarship and cultural sensitivity make Adam’s Bridge highly significant and wonderfully engaging."

Malashri Lal, Distinguished scholar; Professor and Former Head, Department of English, and Dean of Colleges, University of Delhi; Convener, English Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi.

"Arup K. Chatterjee’s latest book, Adam’s Bridge: Sacrality, Performance, and Heritage of an Oceanic Marvel (Routledge UK, 2024) is unique, as is the subject of this formidably complex and multilayered volume ... a fine book-length revelation of Adam’s Bridge or Ram Setu as a magnificent and enchanting ‘tombolo’ whether seen from soteriological or geological perspectives! ... Chatterjee recounts an intriguing saga, previously very little known, plausibly told through discourses traversing history, geology, mythology, legends, political, cultural, and geostrategic mores, in a most delightful way. Adam’s Bridge will inevitably stimulate further thought and pronouncements by those fascinated by the world’s natural and anthropogenic geography, its civilization, and its amazing place in our collective minds. I recommend this book to both academic and non-academic readers most enthusiastically!"

Richard Cathcart, Distinguished scholar, geographer, and Founding Director and Head of the Department, Geographos, Burbank, California, USA. Appeared in The Australia Today

"Adam's Bridge is a superb addition to the emerging discipline of oceanic and island studies. It presents an engrossing academic analysis of the social, economic, and cultural heritage surrounding the structure in the Gulf of Manner to pick apart a region's multifaceted historiography."

The Telegraph, India

»

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