This page in Swedish

Research projects

Divine Ganges, Profane Development: Sacred Geographies and the Governing of Pollution

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress 2020 - 2023



Research subject

Research environments

The project examines the tension between notions of the Ganges that stem from religious and secular conceptions of it. These are often incompatible and result in dissonant ideas regarding how to manage and respond to its state of pollution, degradation and capriciousness.

To examine state activities as well as the belief systems of individuals, the project consists of two components. The first probes attempts in India and Bangladesh to make the Ganges integral to development efforts and nation building, and the extent to which these relate to the basic tension. The second stresses how cultural and religious assumptions regarding the Ganges, in the form of lay beliefs, interact with environmental concerns ascribed to it. The objective is to grasp the ways in which discordant ideas about the river are reflected in state activities and in lay beliefs, and where we find overlaps and inconsistencies between these.


Research funding bodies

  • Swedish Research Council