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The Buddhist Visnu : Religious Transformation, Politics, and Culture - John Holt

The Buddhist Visnu

Religious Transformation, Politics, and Culture

By: John Holt

Paperback Published: 29th December 2004
ISBN: 9780231133234
Number Of Pages: 448
For Ages: 22+ years old

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John Holt's groundbreaking study examines the assimilation, transformation, and subordination of the Hindu deity Visnu within the contexts of Sri Lankan history and Sinhala Buddhist religious culture. Holt argues that political agendas and social forces, as much as doctrinal concerns, have shaped the shifting patterns of the veneration of Visnu in Sri Lanka. Holt begins with a comparative look at the assimilation of the Buddha in Hinduism. He then explores the role and rationale of medieval Sinhala kings in assimilating Visnu into Sinhala Buddhism. Offering analyses of texts, many of which have never before been translated into English, Holt considers the development of Visnu in Buddhist literature and the changing practices of deity veneration. Shifting to the present, Holt describes the efforts of contemporary Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka to discourage the veneration of Visnu, suggesting that many are motivated by a reactionary fear that their culture and society will soon be overrun by the influences and practices of Hindus, Muslims, and Christians.

Industry Reviews

This is a scholarly but eminently readable and accessible study of the multilayered resonance of Sri Lankan culture... Highly Recommended. Choice John Holt's book is an impressive work of scholarship. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Soceity

Introduction: The Historical and Theoretical Problems
The "Hindu Buddha" and the "Buddhist Visnu" "Unceasing Waves"
Brahmanical and Hindu Influences on Medieval Sinhala
Buddhist Culture in Sri Lanka
The Sandalwood Image: Upulvan Deviyo and the Origins of the Cult of Visnu in Sinhala
Buddhist Sri Lanka Transformed Deity: The "Buddhist Visnu" in Sinhala Literature and Liturgy Introduction: The Cult of Visnu in Buddhist
Sri Lanka Seeking Protection: Cultic Life at the Udarata Visnu Devalayas
The Valiyaka Mangalya: The Curative Powers of the Mala Raja Legacies of the "Buddhist "Visnu": Myth and Cult at the Alutnuvara Devalaya
Minister of Defense?
The Politics of Deification in Contemporary Sri Lanka
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780231133234
ISBN-10: 0231133235
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 448
Published: 29th December 2004
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.61