"Slandering the Sacred" - J. Barton Scott's new book is published

April 5, 2023 by Siri Hansen

Slandering the Sacred: Blasphemy Law and Religious Affect in Colonial India tells the story of Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, a law that criminalizes "outraging religious feelings." If you follow current events in India, you know this law well. It's seemingly everywhere, organizing a structure of feeling centered on outrage—especially around alleged injuries to Hinduism. The book explores the pre-history of this law, moving from the 1830s to the 1920s and between Britain and India, to pose a larger set of questions about secularism, colonialism, and affect. How did legal secularism come to govern something called "religion" by governing feelings? How do histories of colonial law continued to shape global religion in the present?

→ Read more about the book at the University of Chicago Press website. It will also be available in India in late April 2023, through Permanent Black.