Spectrum of the Sacred (The): Essays on the Religious Tradition of India
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About the Book :
This volume approaches the heart of Indian sacred traditions philosophy, poetry, pilgrimage, temples and rituals from an insiders point of view. A work of rigorous scholarship, this is a treasure-trove of ten original essays, arranged in two parts. Part one considers theoretical issues; Pat two provides supportive materials. The book highlights, for the first time, the basic difference between the Western notion of binary opposition and the Indian vision on non-dualism. It develops a theory which implies a continuum between the sacred and the secular. Another outstanding contribution of this book is that it demonstrates unity in the diversities of beliefs and behavior in the Indian traditions of pilgrimage. Also, presents a new classification of cultures, and helps understand the structure and functions of religion. This book is rewarding reading for both the scholar and the layman interested in the sociology of sacred traditions in India.
About Author :
Bidyanath Saraswati (b. 1932) is Research Professor in Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi; former Professor of Anthropology in North Eastern Hill University, Shillong. Professor Saraswati's major publications include: Contributions to the understanding of Indian civilization; Pottery making cultures and Indian classical cultural tradition; Brahmanic ritual traditions; The spectrum of the sacred; and Ascetics of Kashi: an anthropological exploration (with Surajit Sinha.
Lalita Prasad Vidyarthi (b. 1931) received his doctorate from the University of Chicago and is now Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Ranchi, India. Currently (1974-1978) he is the President of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences and of the 10th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences to be held in India in 1978. Dr. Vidyarthi is the President of the Indian Anthropological Association, a Founder-Member of the Indian Council of Social Sciences Research, Chairman of the Task Force on Development of Tribal Areas of the Planning Commission, and a Member of the Central Council on Tribal Research Institute of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. He is Founder-Editor of The Journal of Social Research, The Indian Anthropologist, and The Research Journal of Ranchi University. His major fields of research are the Tribal Culture of India including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; Urban-Industrial political, and action Anthropology; Indian Civilization, the History of Indian Culture, Folklore, village studies and History of Anthropological Theories. He has to his credit several internationally popular books.