Consecration Rituals in South Asia


Editor: István Keul
The essays in the volume Consecration Rituals in South Asia address the ritual procedures that accompany the installation of temple images in Shaiva, Vaishnava, Buddhist and Jain contexts, in various traditions and historical periods. Through the performance of complex rites designated with the term pranapratishtha (establishment of, or infusion with, life), man-made sculptures are ritually transformed into (receptacles of) deities. The collection is thematically and methodically broad, with a large number of detailed textual studies, but also with ethnographic contributions that discuss contemporary instances of consecration rituals. Among the overarching themes are issues related to historical continuity and change, as well as transformational moments in such rituals.

Contributors are: Marie-Luce Barazer-Billoret, Marzenna Czerniak-Drożdżowicz, Ronald M. Davidson, Shingo Einoo, Marko Geslani, Dominic Goodall, Ellen Gough, István Keul, Elisabeth Raddock, S.A.S Sarma, Anna A. Ślączka, Annette Wilke.

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István Keul, Ph.D. (2000), University of Tübingen, is Professor in the Study of Religions at the University of Bergen (Norway). He has published a monograph on Hanuman and has edited volumes on tantra, yoginis, and science and technology in South Asia.
' Keul has done an excellent service to the discipline by gathering this collection of thematically and methodically diverse, and yet tightly focused essays. (...) there are valuable contributions that explore the connection between art and religion, the qualifications of the ritual specialist, and the re-installation of damaged images. Though grounded in history, these chapters cumulatively illustrate the vitality of the ritual practices in South Asia, and increasingly in the global world.'

Charles Ramsey, Baptist Seminary, Mission Studies34 (2017)
South Asian studies, Religious Studies, anyone interested in the consecration and installation rituals of temple images.