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Kingship in Indian History

Noboru Karashima (Editor)
Synopsis For the past twenty years, the issue of Indian kingship has attracted the attention of many historians, including Burton Stein and Hermann Kulke. The ‘segmentary’ state theory put forward by Stein opened the way for introducing anthropological analysis into the Indian state studies by taking up the ‘ritual’ sovereignty for discussion. Nicholas Driks and others have joined the discussion creating a lively polemic on the Indian Kingship. The main thrust of their study seems to revive A.M. Hocart, who placed the king at the pinnacle of society in terms of the gift-giving and receiving system, by criticizing Louis Dumont for his subordinating the king to Brahmins in terms of the pure/impure opposition. These recent historico-anthropological or ethno-historical studies have added to our knowledge on Indian kingship and advanced the study of Indian state and society. However, a number of problems have also emerged from these studies, inviting a more careful investigation of the issue. Principal among these seems to be the blurring or loosing of the historical perspective in these studies with changes in the meaning and function of kingship having been ignored, which is conspicuously seen in Stein’s theoretical works. Thus, the purpose of this collection of essays is to correct this tendency by giving more emphasis to the ‘political sovereignty of the king. This collection of nine essays by Japanese scholars is expected to contribute notably through its provision of empirical explorations in conjunction with added stimulus for impelling inquiry into the recent polemics concerning the Indian kingship.
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About the author

Noboru Karashima

Noboru Karashima is Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo and Professor of Indian Studies at Taisho University. He has published a number of important studies including A Concordance of the Names in the Cola Inscriptions, with Y. Subbarayalu and T. Tatsui (1979); South Indian History and Society: Studies from Inscriptions AD 850-1800 (1984); and Towards a New Formation: South Indian Society Under Vijayanagar Rule (1992). He served as the President of the Epigraphical Society of India in 1985 and is currently President of the International Association of Tamil Research and of the Japanese Association for South Asian Studies. In 1995 he was awarded the Academic Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prize.

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Bibliographic information

Title Kingship in Indian History
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173045445
length x+271p., References; 23cm
Subjects History