14 October, 2012

Essays on Religion, Literature and Law

Essays on Religion, Literature and Law

By- Günther-Dietz Sontheimer,  Heidrun Brückner, Anne Feldhaus and Aditya Malik (eds)

The present volume contains fourteen selected papers in English by the late G.-D. Sontheimer and follows up on his earlier volume King of Hunters, Warriors, and Shepherds: Essays on Khandoba (Delhi, 1997). The articles chosen for publication here span a wide thematic and temporal range and will be of interest to students of Hinduism. The volume contains essays on the juristic personality of Hindu deities, the history and religion of pastoral groups in the Deccan and the interdependence of folk and scriptural religion. The articles reflect Sontheimer’s multidisciplinary approach, combining the methodologies of philosophy, anthropology, history, archaeology, epigraphy and iconography. Three other articles illustrated by over a hundred photographs, focus on hero- and sati-stones of the Deccan and Western India. Sontheimer identified the worship of heroes and satis as an important element of folk religion. He analyses the memorial stones in the context of other historical, social and religious references, physical ecology and literary sources. Yet another set of articles deals with aspects of oral literature. Two papers can be considered building blocks for a model of Hinduism that was finally worked out in ‘Hinduism—The Five Components and their Interaction’ (1989), the article which concludes the present volume.

The two volumes of Sontheimer’s collected papers are complemented by a memorial volume entitled In the Company of Gods which is being published simultaneously by the same editors.

Günther-Dietz Sontheimer (1934-92) taught History of Religions and Philosophy of Religions and Philosophy of South Asia, traditional Hindu Law, and Marathi language and literature at the South Asia Institute of  the University of Heidelberg. He was a scholar of Indian folk culture, especially the oral traditions, religion and customs of pastoral communities in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Heidrun Brückner is Professor of Indology and South Asian Studies at the University of Würzburg.

Anne Feldhaus is Professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University.

Aditya Malik is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

ISBN  978-81-7304-521-9    2004   486p.   Rs.750/Pounds 65

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