Can’t wait? Skim below for a coupon that’ll let you buy Temples of Modernity directly from the publisher at a price just over $30. Can’t wait that long? The coupon is LEX30AUTH21.
My book Temples of Modernity explores the cultural territory of Indian science. Using examples from observations and interviews with scientists and engineers in Bangalore, I describe various ways in which the social life of science incorporates religious practices, nationalist politics, and speaks to international conversations over transhumanism. The religious practices include the presence of divine images and the practice of festivals like Ayudha Puja. I explain things like why a science journal would put a picture of the mythical pushpaka vimana on the cover of an issue about aeronautics and why scientists would choose to celebrate a manifestly religious ritual in their laboratories. I explore two ways in which science is part of a nationalist and religious politics: (1) a Nehruvian spirit of service to the nation and (2) a pernicious but widespread belief advocating scientific achievements during the Vedic period of ancient history (see this great article by Rohit Chopra for a great argument on why that belief is a disaster for 21st century India).
I think the book makes some valuable contributions to our understanding of contemporary science and, of course, to the more specific domains of Indian science and Indian religious practice. Methodologically, it foregrounds performance theory and ethnographic data collection in the study of religion, science, & technology.
The book has gotten some nice press, from a very positive review in the journal Technology and Culture to a published podcast with the New Books in South Asia arm of the New Books Network. Hopefully there’s more good word to come.
But it’s super-expensive. The hardback costs like $90 or something. Up until now, the ebook was nearly the same cost. But, thanks to some conversations with my publisher, the ebook price is down to $45 plus using this new coupon code (LEX30AUTH21) will lower the price another 30%. That code applies to the hardcover price also if you’d like to hold it in your hands.
Will this new price come to Amazon? I hope so…but for now at least the publisher has offered a price within the realm of reason. I’m grateful to them for that! I’m also in contact about whether we can lower the price in the international market. I’m not enthusiastic about my prospects, but I believe a book about India should be affordable in India.
So, if you’ve been waiting to get a copy for when it seemed affordable, this maybe gets you closer to that goal.