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Dharma: Studies in its Semantic, Cultural and Religious History

by Patrick Olivelle

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This is the first scholarly book devoted to the study of the term dharma with in the broad scope of Indian cultural and religious history. Most generalizations about Indian culture and religion upon close scrutiny turn out to be inaccurate. An exception undoubtedly is the term dharma. This term and the notions underlying it clearly constitute the most central feature of Indian civilization down the centuries, irrespective of linguistic, sectarian, or regional differences.

The nineteen papers included in this collection deal with many significant historical manifestations of the term dharma. These studies by some of the leading scholars in the respective fields will both present a more nuanced picture of the semantic history of dharma by putting contours onto the flat landscape we have inherited and spur further studies of this concept so central for understanding the cultural history of the Indian subcontinent.

About the Author:

Patrick Olivelle served as the Chair of the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin from 1994 to 2007, where he is Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Religions. Prior to coming to Texas, Olivelle taught in the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, from 1974 to 1991, where he was the Department Chair 1984-90.

Olivelle's current research focuses on the ancient Indian legal tradition of Dharmaśāstra. He has edited and translated the four early Dharmasūtras. He has also prepared a critical edition of the Law Code of Manu (Mānava Dharmaśāstra). A new translation based on the critically edited text was published in Spring 2004 in the Oxford World's Classics series and the critical edition was published in 2005.

In the mid-1990's Olivelle worked on the late Vedic literature, producing an award-winning translation of the early Upaniṣads, as well as a scholar's edition of them. His early work was focused on the ascetic and monastic traditions of India. He published several editions, translations, and studies of ascetic texts and institutions. His award-winning book on the asrama system was published in 1993.

Olivelle has won several prestigious fellowships, including Guggenheim, NEH, and ACLS. He was elected Vice President of the American Oriental Society in 2004 and President in 2005.

 





Detailed Product Info:

Title: Dharma: Studies in its Semantic, Cultural and Religious History
Author(s): Patrick Olivelle
ISBN: 9788120833388
Year of Publication: 2009
Language: English
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