Indian Religions: A Historical Reader of Spiritual Expression and Experience

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Peter Heehs
NYU Press, Sep 1, 2002 - Religion - 620 pages
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2013 Book Award Winner from the International Research Society in Children's Literature   2012 Outstanding Book Award Winner from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education    2012 Winner of the Lois P. Rudnick Book Prize presented by the New England American Studies Association    2012 Runner-Up, John Hope Franklin Publication Prize presented by the American Studies Association   2012 Honorable Mention, Distinguished Book Award presented by the Society for the Study of American Women Writers   Part of the American Literatures Initiative Series     Beginning in the mid nineteenth century in America, childhood became synonymous with innocence—a reversal of the previously-dominant Calvinist belief that children were depraved, sinful creatures. As the idea of childhood innocence took hold, it became racialized: popular culture constructed white children as innocent and vulnerable while excluding black youth from these qualities. Actors, writers, and visual artists then began pairing white children with African American adults and children, thus transferring the quality of innocence to a variety of racial-political projects—a dynamic that Robin Bernstein calls “racial innocence.” This phenomenon informed racial formation from the mid nineteenth century through the early twentieth.
 
Racial Innocence takes up a rich archive including books, toys, theatrical props, and domestic knickknacks which Bernstein analyzes as “scriptive things” that invite or prompt historically-located practices while allowing for resistance and social improvisation.  Integrating performance studies with literary and visual analysis, Bernstein offers singular readings of theatrical productions from blackface minstrelsy to Uncle Tom’s Cabin to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; literary works by Joel Chandler Harris, Harriet Wilson, and Frances Hodgson Burnett; material culture including Topsy pincushions, Uncle Tom and Little Eva handkerchiefs, and Raggedy Ann dolls; and visual texts ranging from fine portraiture to advertisements for lard substitute. Throughout, Bernstein shows how “innocence” gradually became the exclusive province of white children—until the Civil Rights Movement succeeded not only in legally desegregating public spaces, but in culturally desegregating the concept of childhood itself.   Check out the author's blog for the book here. 
 

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Indian religions: a historical reader of spiritual expression and experience

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In a book that attempts to cover the last 3500 years of Indian spiritual expression, Heehs (Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives, Pondicherry, India) includes selections and transcriptions of about 200 ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
The Veda
39
The Upanishads
57
Jainism
89
Theravada Buddhism
103
Samkhya and Yoga
131
The Bhagavad Gita
147
Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism
167
IndoPersian Sufism
253
Siddhas Yogis and Others
281
The Bhakti Movement
303
The Sams
357
The Sikh Gurus
375
Popular Sufism
395
Twelve Mystics of Modern India
413
Four Mystic Poets
581

TheTantras
193
The Puranas
209
Spiritual Philosophies
221

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About the author (2002)

Peter Heehs is director of historical research at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives, Pondicherry, India. He is the author of five books, the most recent of which is Nationalism, Terrorism, Communalism.

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