Religion (194)

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    This work, in simple language, is meant for non-Christians, particularly Hindus, who may be interested in knowing about Christianity, professed by about a third of the world’s population — what it teaches, how do Christian doctrines compare with Hindu dictums, what are the various denominations, etc.

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    Christianity for Hindus by: Arvind Sharma 153.00

    Christianity is the world’s largest religion today: about 33.6 per cent of the world’s population has Christianity as their religion. It is also a religion that struck roots early in India — as early as middle of the first century ce. The book is an account on Christianity that blends aspects of Christian belief and worship with matters like its significance and the urgent need for interfaith understanding in the globalised and pluralistic societies of today. It is meant for non-Christians, particularly Hindus, who are keen to understand the essential aspects of the religion.
    In simple language, the work reveals the essence of the Christian beliefs, its spread over history and its prevalence now, and its importance as a world religion. It examines doctrines of the Church, significance of Jesus Christ, and historical forms of Christianity like Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism. It examines the history of Christianity in India. The interesting work refers to a number of religious works on Christianity and writings of men who commented on Christianity and personified its values like love, compassion and sacrifice. It also deals with some controversial features of the religion like its need to proselytise.

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    The book, a Festschrift volume in honour of Prof. Trichur S. Rukmani, focuses on diverse themes: Patanjali’s Yogasutras, Advaita Vedanta, Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Shaivism, grammar and epic literature. It also addresses issues of contemporary relevance relating broadly to non-violence, environment, gender and syncretism.

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    Classical and Contemporary Issues in Indian Studies by: P. Pratap Kumar, Jonathan Duquette, 1,350.00

    This book is a Festschrift volume in honour of Prof. Trichur S. Rukmani that reflects the plethora of issues which she studied in her scholastic life. It includes twenty-four essays by distinguished scholars on various classical and contemporary issues pertaining to Indian studies. While the volume discusses current research in the field of Yoga — Prof. Rukmani’s primary research field — it also invites further reflection on other areas of Indian thought which have attracted her attention in the course of her long and fruitful academic career.
    The volume is divided thematically into six sections. The first two sections deal with the interpretation of the Yoga, Vedanta and Gaudiya-Vaishnava traditions, exploring issues of hermeneutics, methodology and philosophical analysis. The third section addresses issues of continuity within the Indian tradition and includes essays on tantric Shaivism, Mimamsa and the Bhagavad-Gita. The next two sections feature essays on the Sanskrit philosophical discourse, grammar, epic literature and renunciation in the Indian tradition. The last section of the volume takes up issues of contemporary relevance such as the insights from the Hindu tradition towards environmental ethics, the Svadhyaya movement and its dharmic ecology, non-violence, gender, cultural identity as well as syncretism.
    The volume, including essays as diverse as Prof. Trichur S. Rukmani’s own scholarly interests, will certainly benefit all scholars and students of Indology, especially those concerned with the religious and philosophical traditions of India.

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    This volume deals with different issues related to religious practices and institutions in South Asia. It further seeks to substantiate the well-known opposition between the so-called orthodox sovereignty and the heterodox one, of which the so-called vratya-power seems to be a prime example.

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    Cross Cutting South Asian Studies by: Serena Bindi, Elena Mucciarelli, Tiziana Pontillo, 1,440.00

    This volume, Cross-cutting South Asian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach focuses on two themes that are central to Indological studies: religious practices and heterodox sovereignty.
    The first part of this volume “The Indian Ocean of Religious Practices: Past and Present” deals with different issues related to religious practices and institutions in South Asia. These contributions share a similar theoretical perspective on religion: they all highlight, in various ways and through different disciplinary approaches, how, in order to fully understand religious practices and their inherent dynamics, it is essential to consider the power relations that continually imbue and shape them.
    The second part “Kings, Priests and Prominent Roles Interpreted through the Visual, Literary, Speculative, and Technical Indian Arts” seeks to substantiate the well-known opposition between the so-called orthodox sovereignty and the heterodox one, of which the so-called vratya-power seems to be a prime example. Therefore, the target of the relevant contributions consists in focusing on different contexts where the king or chieftain, or merely the patron of the sacrifice, gains his temporary pre-eminence in an agonistic way which includes an important non-permanent ascetic dimension.

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    The book discusses the pre-Christian iconographic cruciform Hindu and Buddhist temple structures and in detail the Christian cross iconography and the varied types of crosses. It presents numerous forms of Latin and Greek crosses, mainly from the ecclesiastical and heraldic viewpoint, along with a few other cross forms.

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    Crossess — Christian and Otherwise by: Fredrick W. Bunce 1,125.00

    In “top-of-the-mind” reading, crosses are the iconographic representation of Christianity, though cross became an embodiment of Christian iconography only after the fifth century ce. In this volume, the author unveils the existence of 500 plus crosses, of which around 300 are of ecclesiastical, heraldic or mundane crosses. Most of these cruciforms were introduced before the twentieth century.
    Cruciform was antecedent of Christianity. There were numerous cruciform Hindu and Buddhist temples, even before the advent of Christianity and thus these hold no Christian ecclesiastical relevance. Of late many churches, cathedrals and basilicas applied cruciform to their structure and look in conformity with the Christian iconography. This enunciates the endless design possibilities of cruciform. The book discusses the pre-Christian iconographic cruciform Hindu and Buddhist temple structures and in detail the Christian cross iconography and the varied types of crosses. It delves deep into the numerous forms of Latin and Greek crosses, mainly from the ecclesiastical and heraldic viewpoint. Crosses adorned ecclesiastical, military, professional and trade implications, and were carved on shields and coats of arms.
    This volume also addresses other categories of crosses such as solar crosses, saltire crosses and miscellaneous crosses though they too have occasional ecclesiastical and heraldic implications. The book thus gives a fair account of the emergence, use and application of cruciforms until the twentieth century.

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    This collection of scholarly papers focuses on the centrality of the Indian contribution in defining the Asian cultural matrix and brings under one rubric the views of Indian as well as Eurasian experts on the subject.

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    Cultural Interface of India with Asia by: Anupa Pande, Parul Pandya Dhar, 3,150.00

    The reality of the Indian presence in Asian cultures is undeniable. Recent scholarship in the field of Asian cultural studies has laid much stress on the essential oneness of the substratum that defines what may be termed as an Asian identity. Buddhism and Hinduism, having originated in India, travelled beyond the frontiers of the land of their origin, and in many ways, moulded the beliefs and faith of the people of Asia. Trade, political ambitions, and religious pursuits led to a dissemination of Indian ‘ideas’ and ‘forms’ across Asia. In each area of Indian influence, the assimilation of Indian traditions with indigenous practices led to the development of a new idiom of expression with a distinctive localized identity. This collection of scholarly papers focuses on the centrality of the Indian contribution to Asian cultures and brings under one rubric, the views of experts from India, Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Mongolia, China, Korea, Japan, Belgium, Bulgaria, and the United Kingdom. Such an international representation, the consequence of a Seminar held in the National Museum Institute in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, is unique not only in providing the Indian point of view but also in revealing Eurasian perspectives on the subject of India’s pivotal role in defining the Asian cultural matrix.

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    Richly annotated, this work is a deep study of the institution of the Dalai Lama: its rise to prominence, its working and its role within the socio-political structures of Tibet and Asia. All this is set against a historical narrative that brings out the unique religious culture and spiritual legacy of the land.

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    Dalai Lamas by: Ardy Verhaegen 450.00

    From the fifteenth century on, the Dalai Lamas emerged as the pre-eminent spiritual and secular leaders of Tibet. In his foreword to this book Tenzin Gyatso the Fourteenth Dalai Lama states that “Buddhism, with its powerful central message of compassion . . . transformed Tibetans from the powerful warlike nation that dominated Central Asia in the seventh century to the more peaceful and religious people they are today.” With China’s continued occupation of Tibet threatening the “very existence of a distinct Tibetan identity and culture” the Dalai Lama feels it his “primary responsibility to take whatever steps I must to save my people and their unique heritage from total annihilation.” Author Ardy Verhaegen not only “succinctly tells the story of each of the Dalai Lamas and their contribution as human beings to Tibet’s destiny,” as the Dalai Lama points out, but also the historical narrative within which these eminent personalities played out their lives. Starting with the spread of Buddhism and its introduction into Tibet, Verhaegen chronicles the development of that country’s unique religious culture, the rise to prominence of the Dalai Lamas, and the role of the Dalai Lama institution within the social-political structures of Tibet and Asia. Descriptions of the workings of the institution itself and the current struggles of Tibetan culture to survive outside its historical borders round out this volume. Richly annotated, this introduction to the institution of the Dalai Lama is of value to both serious students of Tibetan history and culture and all those interested in one of the more fascinating stories of our times. The perilous flight of the Dalai Lama into exile and the subsequent success of the Tibetan diaspora community against tremendous odds are having profound implications for humanity at large. Ironically, while imperiled within Tibet itself, the spiritual legacy of the land of snows has spread through its incarnate lamas and teachers such that the principles of peace, compassion and individual enlightenment inherent in Tibetan Buddhist culture and embodied in the Dalai Lama now enjoy favour worldwide. The awarding of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize to the Dalai Lama is indicative of this esteem, not only towards His Holiness but also the institution he represents.

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    Indian academic self-understanding of the day is highly influenced and mediated by the Western culture and its understanding of Indian civilization. The political agenda of the colonizer has overshadowed the legitimacy of India’s history and culture. This development poses numerous doubts about its authenticity and credibility. This volume addresses this and many a related issue.

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    Decolonizing Indian Studies by: Arvind Sharma 765.00

    The present Indian academic self-understanding of its history and culture is largely Western in origin. This Western intellectual enterprise, however, went hand in hand with a Western political enterprise, i.e. the colonization of India. This raises the question: To what extent, if any, did the two developments influence each other? It also raises another question: To what extent did West’s cultural presuppositions influence its understanding of Indian civilization?
    The central epistemological issue which these questions raise is the following: What significance does the fact that the self-understanding of a culture is mediated by that of another culture, over which it was culturally and politically dominant, possess for the votaries of the culture whose self-understanding has thus been mediated in this fashion?
    This question is not merely of historical but also of contemporary interest, for in an increasingly globalizing world, in which power is unevenly distributed at various levels, the self-understanding of all cultures is likely to be influenced by how they are being presented by other cultures. Furthermore, in such a world, shifting political alliances may generate new intellectual configurations, whose legitimacy may require constant examination. The essays in this book address these and similar issues.

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    Determinism in Sramanic Traditions by: Shrinetra Pandey, Sanjali Jain, 585.00

    Jain, Bauddha and Ajivaka belong to Sramanic tradition. Ajivakas were firm believers of determinism (Niyativada). Determinism, in philosophy, implies that all events, including moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes. But when we talk about niyati as per Jain perspectives, there is a doctrine of karma. According to karma theory, an individual’s present condition is determined not by any absolute principle but by his own actions performed either in his past lives or in this life. By freely choosing the right course and following it faithfully, he could improve his destiny and ultimately win salvation.
    But Jainism does not totally reject the doctrine of Niyativada. It talks of five co-factors (panca-samavaya), i.e. kala, svabhava, niyati, purvakrta and purusa. The first cause of the universe is false when each of the five factors is taken singly but true when they are considered jointly. Buddhist text Digha Nikaya talks of two types: (1) Theistic determinism (2) Karmic determinism. However, Buddha does not teach that we have complete freedom or that we are determined, but that our will is conditioned or limited to a greater or lesser extent.
    This volume contains ten selected papers that present the philosophical discussion on determinism in Srmananic traditions, particularly in Jainism.

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    Deviant Sex and Buddhism by: Wadinagala Pannaloka 1,080.00

    Deviant Sex and Buddhism discusses deviant sexual practices recorded in Pali Sutta and Vinaya texts categorizing into normal, pathological and sociological. In Buddhist spirituality and philosophy, like in other religions, sex within the institution of marriage is admissible, while all other forms of sexual practices are immoral and denounced. A sexual act violating the norms of chastity and celibacy within the Buddhist community comes to be identified as a deviant sexual act.
    At the backdrop this positioning, this volume engages one in a deep study of what were sensuality and sexuality in early Buddhism, Buddhist attitude to human body, and the definition of celibacy, chastity and normal deviant sexual behaviour along with the nuances of the other two forms of deviant sexual behaviour, i.e. pathological and sociological. Going by the Buddhist philosophy, any deviant sexual behaviour is connected with the issue of human suffering. Twofold sexual conformity – complete sexual abstinence and sex only with one’s own spouse – is emphasized while decrying all non-conforming sexual practices and deciding on a range for sexual acts including homosexual relationship.
    This scholarly work should invigorate the interests of many researchers and academicians to take up further studies and researches on the topic, which has not yet been exposed to the literary world at length.

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    This book is an anthology of seventeen cerebral articles from well-known Buddhist scholars associated with major universities across the globe deliberating many a topic associated with Buddhist religion and its philosophies as part of our constant striving to understand the fundamental nature of what the Buddha wanted us to realize.

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    Dhamma – Anusilana by: Ujjwal Kumar, Bimalendra Kumar, 1,440.00

    There have been serious attempts to understand the Buddha and his teachings since the inception of Buddhism some 2,600 years ago. All through the history of Buddhism, scholars were constantly striving to understand the fundamental nature of what the Buddha wanted us to realize. This book is an anthology of seventeen cerebral articles from well-known Buddhist scholars associated with major universities across the globe. In four parts – Meditation; Personality and Position; Dharmakirti and Persons; and Principles, History and Grammar – it highlights some pertinent topics associated with Buddhism and its legacy.
    Part I discusses the diverse dimensions of meditation, dedicating itself to the kiriya (action) aspects of Buddhism. Part II is an attempt to delineate and study the major branches of Buddhism. Part III deliberates on the contributions of Dharmakirti and Rahula Sankrtyayana to the Buddhist philosophy along with the concept manusa-panatipata and how the revelation of reality of human experience by analysis helps a person to achieve wisdom in the light of Majjhima Nikaya Anathapindikovadasutta. Part IV has papers on different philosophical and applied concepts of Buddhism.
    This volume thus should benefit one in understanding many an aspect of Buddhism vis-à-vis its enormous corpus of literature and teachings. It should highly benefit the students of Buddhism and for those who are keen to fathom deep into the myriad topics of Buddhist philosophy and teachings.

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