Purity and Auspiciousness in Indian Society


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John B. Carman, Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Religion in the Harvard Divinity School, is the Director of Harvard’s Center for the Study of World Religions. He is the author of The Theology of Rāmānuja (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974), editor of the 1967 Consultation Report, Study of Religion in Indian Universities, co-author with the Rev. P. Y. Luke of Village Christians and Hindu Culture (Lutterworth Press, 1968) and translator of W. Brede Kristensen’s lectures in phenomenology of religion, published under the title, The Meaning of Religion (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1960). Frédérique Apffel Marglin is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Smith College. She is the author of Wives of the God-King: The Rituals of the Devadāsīs of Puri (Oxford University Press, 1985) as well as of several articles on Hindu rituals, myths, and images of the feminine. Her current research focuses on royal rituals in Orissa.
' This essay in itself is a major contribution with an aim to inspire those who want to know the inside complexity of the Hindu society and religion.' Rana P.B. Sing, The National Geographical Journal of India, 1987.
Introduction, Frédérique Apffel Marglin Concerning the Categories śubha and śuddha in Hindu Culture: an Exploratory Essay, T. N. Madan Kings and Omens, Ronald Inden Purity and Auspiciousness in the Sankrit Epics, Alf Hiltebeitel The Two Levels of Auspiciousness in Srīvaişnava Ritual and Literature, Vasudha Narayanan Types of oppositions in Hindu Culture, Frédérique Apffel Marglin The Pure and the Auspicious in the Jaina Tradition, Padmanabh S. Jaini Purity and Auspiciousness at the Edge of the Hindu Context – in Theravāda Buddhist Societies, Stanley J. Tambiah Conclusion: Axes of Sacred Value in hindu Society, John B. Carman Contributors Index