The study of images in Asian religions has tended to emphasize the
centrality of image worship in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Images
in Asian Religions offers a challenge to any simple understanding
of the role of images by looking at aspects of the reception of image
worship that have only begun to be studied, including the many
hesitations that Asian religious traditions expressed about image
Written by eminent scholars of anthropology, art history, and
religion with interests in different regions (India, China, Japan, and
Southeast Asia), this volume takes a fresh look at the many ways in
which images were defined and received in Asian religions. Areas
addressed include the complex, fluid, and contested nature of the
religious image; the reception of images within the intellectual
culture of Hinduism and Buddhism; and the importance of historical and
cultural context in the study of religious images.
This compelling collection, demonstrating the range of debate over
practices of image worship, will expand our appreciation of the objects
that serve, for many, as supports of divine presence. Of primary
interest to scholars of Asian religions, it will also appeal to art
historians, anthropologists, semioticians, and students of religion who
concern themselves with images, icons, and material culture.
Phyllis Granoff and Koichi Shinohara are both professors in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University.
Contributors Foreword Acknowledgments Introduction Part 1: Defining Images: The Sacred Objects of Indian Religions 1. Images and Their Ritual Use in Medieval India: Hesitations and Contradictions 2. Theology as History: Divine Images, Imagination, and Rituals in India 3. Of Metal and Clothes: The Location of Distinctive Features in Divine Iconography Part 2: Images and the Elite Intellectual Culture: Accommodations and Ambiguities 4. At the Right Side of the Teacher: Imagination, Imagery, and Image in Vedic and Saiva Initiation 5. The Competing Hermeneutics of Image Worship in Hinduism (Fifth to Eleventh Century AD 6. Stories of Miraculous Images and Paying Respect to the Three Jewels: A Discourse on Image Worship in Seventh-Century China Part 3: Recreating the Context of Image Worship: Case Studies 7. Icon and Incantation: The Goddess Zhunti and the Role of Images in the Occult Buddhism of China 8. The Tenjukoku Shucho Mandara: Reconstruction of the Iconography and Ritual Context 9. Obaku Zen Portrait Painting and Its Sino-Japanese Heritage 10. Ritual and Image at Angkor Wat Index