Author: Gananath ObeyesekerePublisher: Motilal BanarsidassYear: 2006Language: EnglishPages: 448ISBN/UPC (if available): 8120826094
Exploring in rich detail the beliefs of small-scale indigenous societies of West Africa, Melanesia, and North America, Obeyesekere compares their ideas with those of the ancient and modern Indic civilizations and with the Greek rebirth theories of Pythagoras, Empedocles, Pindar, and Plato. His groundbreaking and authoritative discussion decenters the popular notion that India was the origin and locus of ideas of rebirth. As Obeyesekere compares the responses of geographically disparate religions to the most fundamental questions of human existence, he challenges readers to re-examine accepted ideas about morality, death, eschatology, and cosmology.
List of IllustrationsPrefaceList of Abbreviations1. Karma and Rebirth in Indic Religions: Origins and Transformations2. Non-Indic Theories of Rebirth3. The Imaginary Experiment and the Buddhist Implications 4. The Buddhist Ascesis5. Eschatology and Soteriology in Greek Rebirth6. Rebirth and Reason7. Imprisoning Frames and Open DebatesNotesBibliographyIndex