Indian Asceticism: Power, Violence, and Play

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9780190225315: Indian Asceticism: Power, Violence, and Play
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"In this interesting book Professor Olson discusses how asceticism is at the heart of Indian religions, offering forms of practice for the attainment of supernatural powers and spiritual liberation. Not only is this a fascinating account of asceticism in Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, it relates these practices to contemporary debate in the human sciences such as about the role of cognition in cultural practice. This clearly written book will be invaluable to students of Indian religions and asceticism." --Gavin Flood, Professor of Hindu Studies and Comparative Religion, Oxford University

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Throughout the history of Indian religions, the ascetic figure is most closely identified with power. Power is a by-product of the ascetic path, and is displayed in the ability to fly, walk on water or through dense objects, read minds, discern the former lives of others, see into the future, harm others, or simply levitate one's body. Using religio-philosophical discourses and narratives from epic, puranic, and hagiographical literature, Indian Asceticism focuses on the powers exhibited by ascetics of India from ancient to modern time.

The discourses and narratives show ascetics performing violent acts and using language to curse and harm opponents. They also give rise to questions about how power and violence are related to the phenomenon of play. Olson discusses the erotic, the demonic, the comic, and the miraculous forms of play and their connections to power and violence. His focus is on Hinduism, from early Indian religious history to more modern times, but evidence is also presented from both Buddhism and Jainism, which provides evidence that the subject matter of this book pervades India's major indigenous religious traditions.

The book also includes a look at the extent to which contemporary findings in cognitive science can add to our understanding about these various powers; Olson argues that violence is built into the practice of the ascetic. Indian Asceticism culminates with an attempt to rethink the nature of power in a way that does justice to the literary evidence from Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain sources.

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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. Oxford University Press, 2015. 304p. Hardback. In this interesting book Professor Olson discusses how asceticism is at the heart of Indian religions, offering forms of practice for the attainment of supernatural powers and spiritual liberation. Not only is this a fascinating account of asceticism in Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, it relates these practices to contemporary debate in the human sciences such as about the role of cognition in cultural practice. This clearly written book will be invaluable to students of Indian religions and asceticism. Gavin Flood, Professor of Hindu Studies and Comparative Religion, Oxford University |a 13/02/15 (Publisher's information). Condition: New Print on Demand. Printed on Demand. Nº de ref. de la librería 43165

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Olson, Carl
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Descripción Oxford Univ Pr, 2015. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Brand New. 1st edition. 304 pages. 9.50x6.50x1.00 inches. In Stock. Nº de ref. de la librería zk0190225319

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Descripción Oxford University Press, 2015. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0190225319

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