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Mountain, Water, Rock, God

Understanding Kedarnath in the Twenty-First Century

Luke Whitmore

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Religion/Theologie


A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s Open Access publishing program. Visit to learn more.

In Mountain, Water, Rock, God, Luke Whitmore situates the disastrous flooding that fell on the Hindu Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath in 2013 within a broader religious and ecological context. Whitmore explores the longer story of this powerful realm of the Hindu god Shiva through a holistic theoretical perspective that integrates phenomenological and systems-based approaches to the study of religion, pilgrimage, place, and ecology. He argues that close attention to places of religious significance offers a model for thinking through connections between ritual, narrative, climate destabilization, tourism, development, and disaster, and he shows how these critical components of human life in the twenty-first century intersect in the human experience of place.

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