20 November, 2012

Text and Context in the History, Literature and Religion of Orissa

Text and Context in the History, Literature and Religion of Orissa

By- Angelika Malinar, Johannes Beltz and Heiko Frese (eds)

The last decades of the twentieth century have witnessed an enlarged understanding of the notion of ‘text’ as not only comprising written documents, but also rituals, artifacts and the like. Thereby, ‘texts’ were brought closer to the social religious or historical contexts that help to interpret texts. Scholars, traditionally divided in different disciplines that deal either more with texts (historians, philologists, etc.) or with contexts (sociologists anthropologists, etc.) became interested in the methods and perspectives of the other disciplines. This has resulted in a renewed interest in the theoretical issues implied in the notions of text and context. The essays in this volume reflect these debates and show how they influence and enrich research on South Asia.

Anthropologists, historians, literary critics, philologists and historians of religion deal with the mutli-layered interplay between texts and contexts in past and present Orissa. Orissa, renowned for the cults related to the Jagannatha Temple in Puri, is marked by a rich cultural diversity. In dealing with the interdependence between text and context the eassys provide fresh insights to the complexity and fluidity of cultural contexts that use text as stable points of reference. The traditions of Orissa are considered in their uniqueness as well as in their relationship to South Asian cultural contexts on a larger scale.

Angelika Malinar is Associate Professor at the Institute for Indian Languages. Literatures and Art History of Free University of Berlin. Her major publications are on the history and the modern religious movements of Hinduism, epics and Puranas, Indian philosophy and aesthetics, and modern Hindi literature.

Johannes Beltz is Research Fellow at the South Asia Institute of the University of Heidelberg. He studied theology and Indian religions in Halle, Strasbourg, Lausanne and Paris, and received his Ph.D. in 1999. Currently, he is Assistant Curator at the Rietberg Museum, Zurich.

Heiko Fress, Ph.D., is Research Associate at the University of Kiel. He is presently working on a research project on historiography in seventeenth to twentieth century Orissa sponsored by the German Research Council.

ISBN  978-81-7304-566-0   2004   520p.   Rs.1150/Pounds 95

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