Religion in my Pocket: Lecture by Sumbul Farah

Sumbul Farah delivered a lecture on ‘Religion in my Pocket: the affordances and anxieties of digitally mediated pieties’. It was chaired by Ravi Sundaram.


The affordances and anxieties inaugurated by technology in contemporary life become further amplified in the realm of religion, as believers begin to employ digital devices for a range of religious purposes. The speaker draws on some of the theological debates that have emerged around the ontological status of the digitally reproduced divine word among Barelwi Muslims, in order to examine the uncertainties introduced by mediation as well as the complexities arising of the materiality of the devices themselves. These debates help trace the concerns and crises within religion as forms of piety migrate from one mediated form to another.

Sumbul Farah is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She has earlier taught at Hindu College, University of Delhi. Her research interests are Religion, Islam in South Asia, everyday life and ethics. Her work has appeared in HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Modern Asian Studies and Contributions to Indian Sociology.

Friday, 17 November 2023, 4.30 pm, Seminar Room and Zoom