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The Temple In South Asia: Archaeology and Text

 
Himanshu Prabha Ray (Author)
Synopsis

What is a temple? Who built or patronized such structures and why? Temples have always formed a crucial element of the cultural landscape of South Asia. Combining textual analysis, archaeology, and archival research with contemporary anthropology, Archaeology and Text provides a stimulating appraisal of religious life in the past.

Through detailed case studies from regions like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bengal, and Orissa, the book examines both the religious architecture of the temples and the cultural practices surrounding them. the essays underscore the importance of the temple in its interaction with diverse interest groups, such as worshippers, ritual specialists, ascetics, patrons, artisans, and others. They also show how temples were not only expressions of political authority but also formed important centres of learning, popular devotion, and pilgrimage.

The volume explores the development of bhakti and ascetic traditions in the subcontinent in relation to temples. It investigates the relationship between sacrificial rituals and devotional practices, emergent religious cultures and older traditions, and temples and renouncers. The collection also questions the notion of boundaries surrounding religious traditions underlining the fact that present categories do not fit neatly in those of a bygone era. The introduction provides a succinct account of sacred spaces as they came to be defined in archaeological records from the first millennium BCE onwards.

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About the author

Himanshu Prabha Ray

Himanshu Prabha Ray is associate Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, where she has taught since 1980. Her publications include Monastery and Guild: Commerce under the Satavahanas, Oxford University Press, 1986; The Winds Change: Buddhism and the Maritime Links of Early south Asia, Oxford University Press, 1994 (reissued as Oxford India Paperbacks, 1998); The Archaeology off Seafariing in Ancient South Asia, Cambridge University Press, 2003. In 1996, she jointly edited with Jean-Ffrancois Salles a volume titled, Tradition and Archaeology: Early Maritime Contacts in the Indian Ocean, Manohar, 1996. another volume Archaeology of Seafaring: The Indian Ocean in the ancient Period, was published in the Indian Council of Historical Research Monograph Series I, New Delhi, 1999.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Temple In South Asia: Archaeology and Text
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2010
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 0198060963
length 328p., 80 B/W Illustrations; 8.8 inch X 5.8 inch