This book brings together essays by anthropologists, scholars of religion, and art historians on the subject of sacred place and sacred biography in Asia. The chapters span a broad geographical area that includes India, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, and China, and explore issues from the classical and medieval period to the present. They show how sacred places have a plurality of meanings for all religious communities and how in their construction, secular politics, private religious experience, and sectarian rivalry can all intersect.
The contributors explore some of the most fundamental challenges that religious groups face as they expand from their homeland or confront the demands of modernity. In every case the biography of asaint or founding figure proves to be central to the formation ofreligious identity. Sacred place becomes a means of concretizing theever-expanding sphere of the saint’s influence. While some chapters deal with well- known religious movements and sites, others discuss little known groups and help to enrich our understanding of the diversity of religious belief in Asia.
The book will be of interest not only to scholars of Asian religion and hagiography, but to others who seek to understand the ways in whichreligious groups accommodate to the challenges of new environments and new times.
Pilgrims, Patrons, and Place: Localizing Sanctity in Asian Religions is an important marker of the growing awareness in Asian Studies of the significance of ‘place’ as a productive analytical category ... This volume will play a useful role in the scholar’s library.
Introduction - Pilgrims, Patrons, and Place: Localizing Sanctity inAsian Religions / Phyllis Granoff and Koichi Shinohara
1 The Twenty-four Dioceses and Zhang Daoling: The Spatio-LiturgicalOrganization of Early Heavenly Master Taoism / FranciscusVerellen
2 The Story of the Buddha’s Begging Bowl: Imagining aBiography and Sacred Places / Koichi Shinohara
3 Where Ascetics Get Comfort and Recluses Go Public: Museums forBuddhist Saints in Thailand / Louis Gabaude
4 Paradise Found, Paradise Lost: Hariram Vyas’s Love forVrindaban and What Hagiographers Made of It / HeidiPauwels
5 Pilgrimage as Revelation: Sankaradeva’s Journey toJagannatha Puri / Phyllis Granoff
6 The ‘Early Hindi’ Hagiographies by Anantadas /Winand M. Callewaert
7 Dvaraka: The Making of a Sacred Place /AndréCouture
8 Place in the Sacred Biography at Borobudur / Robert L.Brown
9 Ratannath’s Travels / Véronique Bouillier
10 The Interweave of Place, Space, and Biographical Discourse at aSouth Indian Religious Centre / K.I. Koppedrayer
11 Portratiure and Jain Sacred Place: The Patronage of the MinistersVastupala and Tejahpala / Jack C. Laughlin
12 Saints and Scared Places in Saurashtra and Kutch: The Cases ofthe Naklamki Cult and the Jakhs / Françoise Mallison
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