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Kailas Histories

Renunciate Traditions and the Construction of Himalayan Sacred Geography

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Alex McKay

Tibet’s Mount Kailas is one of the world’s great pilgrimage centres, renowned as an ancient sacred site that embodies a universal sacrality. But Kailas Histories: Renunciate Traditions and the Construction of Himalayan Sacred Geography demonstrates that this understanding is a recent construction by British colonial, Hindu modernist, and New Age interests. Using multiple sources, including fieldwork, Alex McKay describes how the early Indic vision of a heavenly mountain named Kailas became identified with actual mountains. He emphasises renunciate agency in demonstrating how local beliefs were subsumed as Kailas developed within Hindu, Buddhist, and Bön traditions, how five mountains in the Indian Himalayan are also named Kailas, and how Kailas sacred geography constructions and a sacred Ganges source region were related.

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Edited by Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin and David D. Harnish

Between Harmony and Discrimination explores the varying expressions of religious practices and the intertwined, shifting interreligious relationships of the peoples of Bali and Lombok. As religion has become a progressively more important identity marker in the 21st century, the shared histories and practices of peoples of both similar and differing faiths are renegotiated, reconfirmed or reconfigured. This renegotiation, inspired by Hindu or Islamic reform movements that encourage greater global identifications, has created situations that are perceived locally to oscillate between harmony and discrimination depending on the relationships and the contexts in which they are acting. Religious belonging is increasingly important among the Hindus and Muslims of Bali and Lombok; minorities (Christians, Chinese) on both islands have also sought global partners.
Contributors include Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin, David D. Harnish,I Wayan Ardika, Ni Luh Sitjiati Beratha, Erni Budiwanti, I Nyoman Darma Putra, I Nyoman Dhana, Leo Howe, Mary Ida Bagus, Lene Pedersen, Martin Slama, Meike Rieger, Sophie Strauss, Kari Telle and Dustin Wiebe.