The RBSN is a virtual community of scholars work on the diverse regional bhakti traditions of India in their broader historical, socio-political, intellectual, and literary contexts.
The main purpose of the group is to provide a forum in which scholars with particular linguistic skills and knowledge bases may share and benefit from each other’s expertise. The network helps members enhance their own research by allowing them to post questions to the group and explore inter-regional patterns and points of connection. It also helps scholars locate other specialists who share common interests and questions, around which future conference panels and collaborative projects could be designed.
Most broadly, the network aims to foster the study of regional bhakti traditions as integral components in the history, religion, and culture of South Asia. This includes a vigorous questioning of the category “bhakti” itself, how it has been constructed, and to what ends it has been deployed.