Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Science and Management

Second Department

Religious Studies

Reader 1

Gaston Espinosa

Reader 2

Daniel Michon

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This thesis deals with how a religious community shapes itself in the face of powerful external pressures. It explores ways the Sikh religion (code, creed, and cultus) was influenced by its encounters with the British Empire and in process, gave birth to a new combinative tradition. This paper will look at where the Sikh people located themselves during the Colonial period, to understand Colonialism’s imprint on the Sikh tradition. It traces the thread of contact throughout Sikh history and argues that British contact resulted in religious and cultural exchanges which reoriented Sikh creed, code, and cultus. The resulting combinative tradition centered itself on the construction of religious boundaries and a normative Sikh theology.