James Laine

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James W. Laine is an American academic and writer notable for his controversial book on the 17th-century Indian king, Shivaji titled, Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India.[1]


James Laine is the Arnold H. Lowe Professor of Religious Studies and the chair of the Religious Studies department at Macalester College in Minnesota, United States. He holds a BA (1974) from Texas Tech University, an MTS (1977), and a doctorate in Theology (1984) from Harvard University.[1]

Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India[edit]

The publication of Laine's book, Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India, was followed by heavy criticism[2] and the attack on the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune, India.[3] In view of the attacks and the public unrest, the book was banned in the state of Maharashtra in January 2004. Filing a petition in the Bombay High Court, James Laine apologised for an offending paragraph on page 93 of the book. The publisher Oxford Printing Press promised to delete the paragraph on all future editions of the book worldwide,[4] following which the court lifted the ban in 2007. In July 2010, the Supreme Court of India upheld the lifting of ban,[5][6] which was followed by public demonstrations against the author and the decision.[7][8]

Laine has produced an analysis of the dispute.[9]

Selected works[edit]

  • (with S. S. Bahulkar) The Epic of Shivaji: A Translation and Study of Kavindra. Hyderabad: Orient Longman. 2001. ISBN 9788125020462.
  • Shivaji: Hindu king in Islamic India. New York: Oxford University Press. 2003. ISBN 9780195141269.
  • Meta-religion: Religion and Power in World History. University of California Press. 2014. ISBN 9780520281370.


External links[edit]