"Indian Religions: Renaissance and Renewal", the latest collection of "Spalding" papers, celebrates the work of Ninian Smart in bringing together papers by some of the most eminent scholars within this field. The papers are concerned with cultural, religious, political or textual exchange and encounter, and therefore in concepts of rupture, revival, restoration, reformation and reformulation. The title of this book comes directly from Professor Klaus Klostermaier's paper which argues that the real Hindu Renaissance is happening now. However, the title also embraces the contemporary problematic of the study of Indian religions. There cannot ever have been a time when the scholarly study of Indian religions has been under such scrutiny or more politically, culturally and religiously sensitive. The papers in section one urge a major rethinking of academic paradigms. The papers in the second section focus on texts, contexts and ways of understanding.
Vastly different in style, period and approach, they nevertheless cumulatively develop sensitivity to textual continuities, to the purposes of commentators, and the contemporary creative reinterpretation of texts and their application to real life. The third section is concerned with cultural and religious encounter and exchange, transformation, restoration, revival, and reformation. The fourth section focuses on the performative, experiential, and expressive. There are papers on the Hindu imagination and imaginary Hinduisms; religion, the media and a multi-modal future; ritual performance and gender; and art and the aesthetic imagination.
Anna S. King is Convenor of the Spalding Symposium and Senior Lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Winchester. She trained as a social anthropologist at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology in Oxford and studied Hindi at the Oriental Faculty, Cambridge University. After initial research on Mircea Eliade, she carried out her first period of fieldwork on the pilgrimage priests of Hardwar, North India. She has since published research on the Dalits of India and on ISKCON's Caitanya Vaisnava tradition. She is editor with John Brockington (2005) of The Intimate Other: Love Divine in Indic Religions (Orient Longman).
Preface by Karel Werner Introduction and Acknowledgements Section 1 Challenging Paradigms Klaus Klostermaier Hinduism- Hindutva-Hindu Dharma Hans Bakker The Hindu Religion and War Ninian Smart and Knut Jacobsen Is Hinduism an Offshoot of Buddhism? Karel Werner The Philosophy of Religions from the Perspective of Indian Religions Section 2 Text and Context Dermot Killingley Faculties, Breaths and Orifices: some Vedic and Samkhya Notions of the Body and Personality David Bastow Time and the Sarvastavadins Jacqueline Suthren Hirst Images of amkara: Understanding the Other Kathleen Taylor Arthur Avalon among the Orientalists: Sir John Woodroffe and the Re-Interpretation of Tantra Section 3 Encounter, Revival and Reform Geoffrey Samuel Shamanic Powers, Village Religion and Esoteric Exchanges: How Far is Tantra a Specifically Indian Phenomenon David Gellner Theravada Buddhist Revival in Nepal: Reflections in the Early Years Theodore Gabriel Brahmanisation of Dravidian Religions: The Case of the Multafan Cult of North Malabar Matthew Clark The Curious History of the Dasanami-Samnyasis Ron Geaves From Totapuri to Maharaji (Prem Rawat)? Reflections on a Lineage (Parampara) Section 4 Renewing the World: Sacred Performance, Sacred Art David J. Smith The Hindu Imagination and Imaginary Hinduisms Anna S. King Kumbha Mela and the Media Alleyn Diesel Walking in the Mother's Footsteps: Dravidian Virgin Goddesses as Empowering Role Models for Women Richard Shaw The Mediaeval Saivite World portrayed on the Prakara Wall of the Mallikarjuna Temple of Srisailan Christopher Aslet Height and Size in Indian Iconography Biographical notes