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Ideas and Society: India Between the Sixteenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Eugenia Vanina (Author)
Synopsis The formal study of Indian history has been part of scholarly pursuit in many parts of the world for nearly two centuries. This book, a new edition of the work published by the well known Russian historian, Eugenia Vanina, discusses the history of ideas in medieval India from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries. While ancient India has been the focus of much comparative history, medieval India is an area that still lends itself to scrutiny in a comparative framework. Ideas and Society addresses this lacuna as a concern for the world history of ideas. It uses medieval Europe as a counterpoint, not because it is a measure against which to test the development of other societies, but because it is a location that is familiar internationally. Vanina used this framework to address specific misconceptions about the 'orient'. According to the author, the comparison of the ways in which medieval Indian thinkers and their western counterparts assessed key problems of their times helps identify the specific features of India's historical development and at the same time to situate India in world history. Ideas and Society highlights the nature of cultural and religious practices in medieval India, the development of the state, beginnings of colonial rule and the indigenous response to it. In its belief that interpretation of history can make a difference to a polity -- as demonstrated through the political divides of modern India -- this book also takes a close look at patterns in communal relations and the socio-ethical teachings of the Sufi and Bhakti traditions. For this edition, Vanina has brought a wide range of themes together in an introduction, which takes into account new sources as well as recent debates in historiography. This book is a valuable contribution to the corpus of research on medieval Indian history and will interest historians of this period in South Asian history. Its straightforward style will also make these serious concerns in history-writing very accessible to the interested lay reader.
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About the author

Eugenia Vanina

Dr. Eugenia Vanina, a Ph.D. from Moscow University, is the Head, Centre for Indian Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences.

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Bibliographic information

Title Ideas and Society: India Between the Sixteenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 0195668642
length v+254p., 22cm.
Subjects History