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The Ascetic Self : Subjectivity, Memory and Tradition - Gavin Flood

The Ascetic Self

Subjectivity, Memory and Tradition

Hardcover Published: 15th March 2012
ISBN: 9780521843386
Number Of Pages: 304

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This book is about the ascetic self in the scriptural religions of Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. The author claims that asceticism can be understood as the internalisation of tradition, the shaping of the narrative of a life in accordance with the narrative of tradition that might be seen as the performance of the memory of tradition. Such a performance contains an ambiguity or distance between the general intention to eradicate the will, or in some sense to erase the self, and the affirmation of will in ascetic performance such as weakening the body through fasting. Asceticism must therefore be seen in the context of ritual. The book also offers a new paradigm for comparative religion more generally, one that avoids the inadequate choices of either examining religions through overarching categories on the one hand and the abandoning of any comparative endeavour that focuses purely on area-specific study on the other.

Setting the parameters
The Ascetic Self in Text and History
The asceticism of work: Simone Weil
The asceticism of action: The Bhagavad-gita and Yoga-sutras
The asceticism of action: Tantra
The asceticism of the Middle Way
The asceticism of the desert
The asceticism of love and wisdom
Theorising the Ascetic Self
The ritual construction of the ascetic self
Modernity and the ascetic self
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521843386
ISBN-10: 0521843383
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 15th March 2012
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.62