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Mapping the Pāśupata Landscape

Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India

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Elizabeth A. Cecil

In Mapping the Pāśupata Landscape: Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India, Elizabeth A. Cecil explores the sacred geography of the earliest community of Śiva devotees called the Pāśupatas. This book brings the narrative cartography of the Skandapurāṇa into conversation with physical landscapes, inscriptions, monuments, and icons in order to examine the ways in which Pāśupatas were emplaced in regional landscapes and to emphasize the use of material culture as media through which notions of belonging and identity were expressed. By exploring the ties between the formation of early Pāśupata communities and the locales in which they were embedded, this study reflects critically upon the ways in which community building was coincident with place-making in Early Medieval India.

Qi Sun (孫齊)

Holy Ground: Where Art and Text Meet

Studies in the Cultural History of India

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Hans T. Bakker

The 31 selected and revised articles in the volume Holy Ground: Where Art and Text Meet, written by Hans Bakker between 1986 and 2016, vary from theoretical subjects to historical essays on the classical culture of India. They combine two mainstreams: the Sanskrit textual tradition, including epigraphy, and the material culture as expressed in works of religious art and iconography. The study of text and art in close combination in the actual field where they meet provides a great potential for understanding. The history of holy places is therefore one of the leitmotivs that binds these studies together.
One article, "The Ramtek Inscriptions II", was co-authored by Harunaga Isaacson, two articles, on "Moksadharma 187 and 239–241" and "The Quest for the Pasupata Weapon," by Peter C. Bisschop.

Fusion of East and West

Children, Education and a New China, 1902-1915

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Limin Bai

In Fusion of East and West, Limin Bai presents a major work in the English language that focuses on Chinese textbooks and the education of children for a new China in a critical transitional period, 1902–1915. This study examines the life and work of Wang Hengtong (1868–1928), a Chinese Christian educator, and other Christian and secular writings through a historical and comparative lens and against the backdrop of the socio-political, ideological, and intellectual frameworks of the time. By doing so, it offers a fresh perspective on the significant connection between Christian education, Chinese Christian educators and the birth of a modern educational system. It unravels a cross-cultural process whereby missionary education and the Chinese education system were mutually re-shaped.

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Richard van Leeuwen

In Narratives of Kingship in Eurasian Empires, 1300-1800 Richard van Leeuwen analyses representations and constructions of the idea of kingship in fictional texts of various genres, especially belonging to the intermediate layer between popular and official literature. The analysis shows how ideologies of power are embedded in the literary and cultural imagination of societies, their cultural values and conceptualizations of authority. By referring to examples from various empires (Chinese, Indian, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, European) the parallels between literary traditions are laid bare, revealing remarkable common concerns. The process of interaction and transmission are highlighted to illustrate how literature served as a repository for ideological and cultural values transforming power into authority in various imperial environments.

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Whitney Cox

Philology was everywhere and nowhere in classical South Asia. While its civilizations possessed remarkably sophisticated tools and methods of textual analysis, interpretation, and transmission, they lacked any sense of a common disciplinary or intellectual project uniting these; indeed they lacked a word for ‘philology’ altogether.

Arguing that such pseudepigraphical genres as the Sanskrit purāṇas and tantras incorporated modes of philological reading and writing, Cox demonstrates the ways in which the production of these works in turn motivated the invention of new kinds of śāstric scholarship. Combining close textual analysis with wider theoretical concerns, Cox traces this philological transformation in the works of the dramaturgist Śāradātanaya, the celebrated Vaiṣṇava poet-theologian Veṅkaṭanātha, and the maverick Śaiva mystic Maheśvarānanda.

Dialectics of Spontaneity

The Aesthetics and Ethics of Su Shi (1037-1101) in Poetry

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Zhiyi Yang

In Dialectics of Spontaneity, Zhiyi Yang examines Su Shi’s poetry on art and connoisseurship, his emulation of Tao Qian in exile poetry, and his inner alchemical practice. She argues that the concept of absolute spontaneity is defined negatively, and artistic and ethical spontaneity which can be actualized must be provisional and conditioned.

This book argues that Su Shi’s lyrical persona of a 'spontaneous genius' is a construction that serves various rhetorical and existential purposes. Making use of Su’s prolific works and referring to a broad scope of Western philosophy, this book not only enriches the literature on Su Shi, but further attempts to engages Chinese literature in a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary dialogue.

Viren Murthy

Abstract

Chinese historians have considered the 1911 Revolution an incomplete bourgeois revolution, especially in comparison to the more successful 1949 Revolution. On the other hand, in their famous tract in the early 1990s, Li Zehou and Liu Zaifu claimed that a rethinking of the 1911 Revolution should lead us to reject the concept of revolution altogether. In both of these formulations, as stepping stone towards socialism or demonstration that any revolution is futile, the 1911 Revolution is in some way connected to the legitimacy of capitalism. However, in post-war Japan, when Japanese intellectuals were debating the consequences of the American Occupation and Japan's role in the Second World War, the 1911 Revolution had a different significance. Post-war Japanese sinologists often turned to the 1911 Revolution as a symbol of hope, despite its failure. Takeuchi Yoshimi was the pioneer of this intellectual trend and he argued that, unlike the Meiji Ishin, which was a pale imitation of Western modernity, the 1911 Revolution represented a unique affirmation of revolutionary subjectivity, precisely because its initial attempts at modernization failed. Takeuchi and his disciples' discussions of how the 1911 Revolution produced subjectivity out of failure illustrate post-war Japanese sinologists employed the 1911 Revolution in debates about subjectivity and anti-colonialism. An analysis of their writings will open the way to thinking both the 1911 Revolution and its perception in Japan as it relates to the trajectory of capitalism and its discontents in the 20th century.