IT is with pleasure that I accepted an invitation to be a respondent to a panel that explores the interstices between aesthetic theory and practice. As an ethnographer who is trained in Sanskrit aesthetics, I am particularly interested in what happens in the spaces of contact and crossover between various embodied religious traditions. For me, these explorations mostly have been located in the study of Bhārata Nāṭyam, a rhythmic dance form through which artists traditionally enact the stories of Hindu gods and their devotees. In contemporary practice, the themes and practitioners of this dance form reflect a much broader spectrum of adaptation that includes various religious and secular contexts. I have posited that the interpretive reframing of the aesthetic of bhakti rasa, a devotional mood, by performers serves as a pivotal foundation for why and how choreographers and dancers move across religious boundaries in their choices of choreographic themes and participation in the dance form. I am humbled by Michelle Voss Roberts’ kind words about the small contributions I have made to the ongoing dialogue on aesthetics and pluralism in her introduction.
Zubko, Katherine C.
"An Aesthetics of Hospitality: Embodied Religious Experience and Scholarly Engagement in Hindu-Christian Studies,"
Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies:
Vol. 28, Article 5.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.7825/2164-6279.1604