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Timothy M. Davis

In Entombed Epigraphy and Commemorative Culture Timothy M. Davis presents a history of early muzhiming—the most versatile and persistent commemorative form employed in the elite burials of pre-modern China. While previous scholars have largely overlooked the contemporary religious, social, and cultural functions of these epigraphic objects, this study directly addresses these areas of concern, answering such basic questions as: Why were muzhiming buried in tombs? What distinguishes commemorative biography from dynastic history biography? And why did muzhiming develop into an essential commemorative genre esteemed by the upper classes? Furthermore, this study reveals how aspiring families used muzhiming to satisfy their obligations to deceased ancestors, establish a multi-generational sense of corporate identity, and strengthen their claims to elite status.

Hanvueng: The Goose King and the Ancestral King

An Epic from Guangxi in Southern China

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Edited by David Holm and Meng Yuanyao

This work is an annotated edition of a ritual manuscript, written in the traditional Zhuang character script. The Hanvueng epic is a narrative in verse about murderous enmity between two royal step-brothers, recited when there is fraternal feuding, death by violence, outbreaks of smallpox, or other such disasters. The theme of enmity is an important one that resonates deeply in the Tai societies on the periphery of the Chinese empire. The narrative touches on many other aspects of life in the valley-kingdoms in the highlands of Guangxi: marriage and inheritance, match-making, slavery and social stratification, agriculture, hunting, fishing, raiding, livestock raising dye-making, wild animals and plants, and the use of ritual to put things to rights.



Culture and Circulation

Literature in Motion in Early Modern India

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Edited by Thomas de Bruijn and Allison Busch

Culture and Circulation reflects an innovative approach to early modern Indian literature. The authors foreground the complex hybridity of literary genres and social milieus, capturing elements that have eluded traditional literary history. In this book, jointly edited by Thomas de Bruijn and Allison Busch, Hindi authors rub shoulders with their Persian counterparts in the courts of Mughal India; the fame of Mirabai, a poetess from Rajasthan, travels to Punjab; the sayings of Kabir are found to be as difficult to pin down as the holy men who transmitted them. Drawing on new archives in several Indian languages, Culture and Circulation presents fresh ideas that will be of interest to scholars of Indian literature, religious studies, and early modern history.
Contributors include Stefano Pellò,Thibaut d'Hubert,Corinne Lefèvre, John Stratton Hawley, Gurinder Singh Mann, Thomas de Bruijn, Catharina Kiehnle, Allison Busch, Francesca Orsini, Heidi Pauwels, Robert van de Walle.

The Skandapurāṇa III

Adhyayas 34.1-61, 53-69: The Vindhyavāsinī Cycle

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Yuko Yokochi

Skandapurāṇa III presents a critical edition of the Vindhyavāsinī Cycle (Adhyāyas 34.1-61, 53-69) from the Skandapurāṇa , with an introduction and annotated English synopsis. The text edited in this volume provides the oldest full account of the myth of the goddess of the Vindhya mountains; it is one of the main sources of the Devīmāhātmya, the most famous scripture of the goddess worship in India, and as such indispensable for the study of the history of goddess worship. The introduction contains an examination into the relationship of the manuscripts and the date of the Skandapurāṇa .
The work is currently only available in print as an exact reprint done in a smaller book size (15.5 x 23.5 cm) than the first printrun.

Dutch Colonialism and Indonesian Islam

Contacts and Conflicts 1596-1950. Second Revised Edition

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Karel Steenbrink

This book tells the story of the contacts and conflicts between muslims and christians in Southeast Asia during the Dutch colonial history from 1596 until 1950. The author draws from a great variety of sources to shed light on this period: the letters of the colonial pioneer Jan Pietersz. Coen, the writings of 17th century Dutch theologians, the minutes of the Batavia church council, the contracts of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) with the sultans in the Indies, documents from the files of colonial civil servants from the 19th and 20th centuries, to mention just a few. The colonial situation was not a good starting-point for a religious dialogue. With Dutch power on the increase there was even less understanding for the religion of the muslims . In 1620 J.P. Coen, the strait-laced calvinist, had actually a better understanding and respect for the muslims than the liberal colonial leaders from the early 20th century, convinced as they were of western supremacy.