Ascetics and Brahmins: Studies in Ideologies and Institutions

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Anthem Press, 2011 - Religion - 328 pages
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This volume brings together a variety of Patrick Olivelle's papers on Indian ascetical institutions and ideologies that have been published over the past thirty or so years. Asceticism represents a major strand in the religious and cultural history of India, providing some of the most creative elements within Indian religions and philosophies. Most of the major religions, such as Buddhism, Jainism, and the religious philosophies both within these new religions and in the Brahmanical tradition, were created by world-renouncing ascetics. Ascetical institutions and ideologies developed in a creative tension with other religious institutions that stressed the centrality of family, procreation and society, and it is this tension that has articulated many of the central features of Indian religion and culture. The papers collected in this volume seek to locate Indian ascetical traditions within their historical, political and ideological contexts.

  

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Contents

Abbreviations
7
Food and the Indian Ascetic
71
Religious Imagination
91
Sanyåsa
127
Renunciation in the Sanyåsa Upanißads
165
Odes of Renunciation
197
Ritual Suicide and the Rite of Renunciation
207
trivißabdha tridaña
231
Rite for Becoming a Naked Ascetic
249
71
257
State Control of Asceticism
293
Bibliography
307
9
325
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About the author (2011)

Patrick Olivelle is Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Religions at the University of Texas at Austin, where he served as Chair of the Department of Asian Studies from 1994 to 2007. He previously taught in the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington from 1974 to 1991, where he was the Department Chair from 1984 to 1990.

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