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Desert Temples: Sacred Centers of Rajasthan in Historical, Art-Historical, and Social Contexts

Lawrence A. Babb (Author) Michael W. Meister (Author) John E. Cort (Author)
Synopsis The essays in this book represent the fruits of an interdisciplinary study of four temples in Rajasthan jointly conducted by Lawrence A. Babb (anthropology), John E. Cort (religious studies), and Michael W. Meister (art history). The temples were chosen because they are both very ancient and also vibrantly functioning today. The results of the authors' research dramatically vindicate the idea that when disciplines are combined, the result is greater than the sum of the parts. The essays presented here show that a functioning temple is many things at once. More than a mere physical structure, a temple is a center of economic activity, a focus-point for political power, and a confluence of social relationships of every conceivable sort. It is also an object of aesthetic contemplation and judgment. And perhaps above all, a temple is a locus of sacred power that evokes deeply-felt responses in those who worship there. These essays pull these many threads together in a volume unique in the extent to which it stresses the holistic approach to the study of India's sacred centers.
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About the authors

Lawrence A. Babb

Lawrence A. Babb is Professor of Anthropology and Asian Studies at Amherst College in Massachusetts.  He has done field research in central, northern, and western India on both Hindu and Jain communities.  His most recent book is Alchemies of Violence: Myths of Identity and the Life of Trade in Western India (2004).

Michael W. Meister

Michael W. Meister is Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor of the History of Art and South Asia Regional Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He has served as editor of the American Institute of Indian Studies' series, the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture, and also edited volumes on Discourses on Siva, Making Things in South Asia, and Ananda K. Coomaraswamy: Essays in Early Indian Architecture and Essays in Architectural Theory.

John E. Cort

John E. Cort is Associate Professor of Religion at Denison University.

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Bibliographic information

Title Desert Temples: Sacred Centers of Rajasthan in Historical, Art-Historical, and Social Contexts
Format Hardcover
Date published: 24.07.2008
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Rawat Publications
Language: English
isbn 9788131601068
length xvi+208p., Plates; Map; Notes; Bibliography; Index; 25cm.