Author: Satish SaberwalSupriya Varma/Editor(s): Satish Saberwal / Supriya VarmaPublisher: Oxford University PressYear: 2005Language: EnglishPages: 353ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195669150
This collection of original essays engages with the historical dynamics of traditions and their ways of surviving and adapting. Part of a critical and conscious task of representing and analysing tradition, these essays unravel the theoretical dimensions of the term. In doing so they also examine musical, literary, architectural, political, and historical traditions that have been crucial to South Asia. In a comprehensive introduction, the editors draw out the implications that representation and analysis of traditions have for the humanities. They demonstrate that traditions are continuously renewing themselves and can be carriers of political and cultural meaning while deriving sustenance from available social practices. The editors also point to the function of institutions - religious, social and political - in maintaining, negotiating, and re-creating traditions. With this analysis, Saberwal and Varma prepare the framework for the essays - covering a wide range of themes that ultimately have a bearing on contemporary reality. Beginning with the challenge of locating social reality in the architectural remains of a tradition, and demonstrating that all traditions have breaks and disjunctures, these essays traverse the spectrum to assess older textual traditions for voices of authority. Varying representations of the Ramayana - including those recently televised - as well as oral traditions in Islam reveal the workings of cultural practices over time. This collection also covers important aspects of the evolution of religious traditions within the context of syncretic practices as well as cultural boundaries, and gender and caste divisions. The later contributions demonstrate the continuities between religious tradition, caste mobility, and political legitimacy. This collection is significant for contributions from eminent scholars as also for the insider's view through voices across disciplines. This volume will be of great interest to students and scholars of history and sociology as well as those interested in living institutions and cultural and political practices.
PREFACE INTRODUCTION Before history Principality texts Texts/institutions/practices Speaking of faith List of contributors INDEX TABLES FIGURES