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Lives of Indian Images

Lives of Indian Images - 97 edition

Lives of Indian Images - 97 edition

ISBN13: 9780691005201

ISBN10: 0691005206

Lives of Indian Images by Richard H. Davis - ISBN 9780691005201
Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 97
Copyright: 1997
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Published:
International: No
Lives of Indian Images by Richard H. Davis - ISBN 9780691005201

ISBN13: 9780691005201

ISBN10: 0691005206

Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 97

List price: $55.00

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Summary

For many centuries, Hindus have taken it for granted that the religious images they place in temples and home shrines for purposes of worship are alive. Hindu priests bring them to life through a complex ritual "establishment" that invokes the god or goddess into material support. Priests and devotees then maintain the enlivened image as a divine person through ongoing liturgical activity: they must awaken it in the morning, bathe it, dress it, feed it, entertain it, praise it, and eventually put it to bed at night. In this linked series of case studies of Hindu religious objects, Richard Davis argues that in some sense these believers are correct: through ongoing interactions with humans, religious objects are brought to life.

Davis draws largely on reader-response literary theory and anthropological approaches to the study of objects in society in order to trace the biographies of Indian religious images over many centuries. He shows that Hindu priests and worshipers are not the only ones to enliven images. Bringing with them differing religious assumptions, political agendas, and economic motivations, others may animate the very same objects as icons of sovereignty, as polytheistic "idols," as "devils," as potentially lucrative commodities, as objects of sculptural art, or as symbols for a whole range of new meanings never foreseen by the images' makers or original worshipers.

Author Bio

Davis, Richard H. : Yale University

Richard H. Davis is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University. His previous publications include Ritual in an Oscillating Universe: Worshiping &Sacuteiva in Medieval India (Princeton).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Translation and Transliteration
Abbreviations
Introduction
1. Living Images
2. Trophies of War
3. Images Overthrown
4. Visnu's Miraculous Returns
5. Indian Images Collected
6. Reconstructions of Somanatha
7. Loss and Recovery of Ritual Self
Conclusion: Identities and Manifestations
Notes
Bibliography
Bibliographic Appendix
Index