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Absent Lord : Ascetics and Kings in a Jain Ritual Culture - Lawrence A. Babb

Absent Lord

Ascetics and Kings in a Jain Ritual Culture

Paperback Published: 1st July 1996
ISBN: 9780520203242
Number Of Pages: 256

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What does it mean to worship beings that one believes are completely indifferent to, and entirely beyond the reach of, any form of worship whatsoever? How would such a relationship with sacred beings affect the religious life of a community? Using these questions as his point of departure, Lawrence A. Babb explores the ritual culture of image-worshipping Svetambar Jains of the western Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Jainism traces its lineages back to the ninth century B.C.E. and is, along with Buddhism, the only surviving example of India's ancient non-Vedic religious traditions. It is known and celebrated for its systematic practice of non-violence and for the intense rigor of the asceticism it promotes. A unique aspect of Babb's study is his linking of the Jain tradition to the social identity of existing Jain communities.
Babb concludes by showing that Jain ritual culture can be seen as a variation on pan-Indian ritual patterns. In illuminating this little-known religious tradition, he demonstrates that divine "absence" can be as rich as divine "presence" in its possibilities for informing a religious response to the cosmos.

List of Illustrations
Note on Transliteration
Introductionp. 1
Victorsp. 22
The Lord's Last Lifep. 23
The Cosmosp. 38
Living Asceticsp. 52
Kings of the Godsp. 64
The Lord's Bathp. 65
Reflexivityp. 84
Magical Monks: A Ritual Subculturep. 102
Ascetic Career as Ritual Charterp. 103
Dadagurudevsp. 111
A Ritual Subculturep. 126
Valor: The Transformation of Warrior-Kingsp. 137
Kings Who Give Up Meatp. 138
Khartar Gacch Legendsp. 160
Warrior-Kings Transformedp. 168
Giving and Giving Upp. 174
Variationsp. 176
Hot Potatoesp. 186
Notesp. 197
Glossaryp. 217
Bibliographyp. 223
Indexp. 231
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780520203242
ISBN-10: 0520203240
Series: Comparative Studies in Religion and Society
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st July 1996
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.24  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.39

Earn 84 Qantas Points
on this Book