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Kings and Cults: State Formation and Legitimation in India and Southeast Asia

Hermann Kulke (Author)
Synopsis Kings and Cults contains a selection of articles of H. Kulke on various aspects of Ksatra and Ksetra, the interconnected domains of temporal and sacred power in medieval India and Southeast Asia. Thematically these papers are intertwined by a study of the quest of medieval rulers for legitimation through religious institutions. Of particular interest in this regard are the changing modes of legitimation at different stages of state formation, ranging from princely patronage of tribal deities by early emerging "kings" to the construction of imperial temples by the rulers of great regional "imperial" kingdoms. A particularly characteristic feature of India is the great temple cities as centres of regional cults and pilgrimage which became the major focus of later medieval royal patronage. Another important aspect of Kulke’s work is historiography as a means of late medieval royal legitimation, linking legendary history of these sacred places and royal patronage with dynastic claims. About half of the papers focus on Puri in Orissa and its Jagannatha cult which forms a major field work of Kulke’s studies. South India is represented by two papers on religious policy of the Colas and the early rulers of Vijayanagara. Four papers deal with Southeast Asia. They reveal that Southeast Asian indigenous rulers faced very similar structural and ideological problems which they tried to solve through similar ritual means as their contemporary Indian "colleagues".
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About the author

Hermann Kulke

Hermann Kulke is Professor of South and Southeast Asian History in the Department of History, Kiel University. For 21 years he taught at the Southasia Institute of Heiderberg University. He was founder-member of the Orissa Research Project of the Southasia Institute (1970-5), Visiting Professor at Utkal University, Bhubaneswar (1978/9), Asiatic Society, Calcutta (1986) and Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi (1992). He is the author of Cidambaramahatmya (1970), Jagannatha Cult and Gajapaati Kingship (1979 both in German), co-author of A History of India (1986, with D. Rothermund), co-editor of The Cult of Jagannath and the Regional Tradition of Orissa (1978, with A. Eschmann and G.C. Tripathi) and of Hinduism Reconsidered (1989, 2nd ed. 1997), with G.D. Sontheimer) and editor of The State in India 1000-1600 (1993).

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Bibliographic information

Title Kings and Cults: State Formation and Legitimation in India and Southeast Asia
Author Hermann Kulke
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 817304337X
length xv+392p., Index; 23cm.