marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
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marycatelli

Religions of India in Practice

Religions of India in Practice by Donald S. Lopez Jr.

A survey of texts about practices. From documents and also recorded oral information. Buddhism gets brushed on, because the series has another volume about it, but there is a wide diversity of the other religions -- Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, a few Christian.

There are inscriptions for the dedication of temples, and stories told at the women's gathering for the honoring of the sacred basil plant (an oral tradition, such that many daughters-in-law have to relearn it when they marry, because their mother-in-law does it differently than in their natal household). Writings about the disputes over whether being a householder or a ascetic is better. Hymn. Personal poems of devotion. Directions on how to act in a temple (without a hint of the significance of the actions). Tales of peoples' lives where this god or that one did something -- I was personally particularly taken to recognize two of them as fairy tale types.
Tags: history reviews: across eras, primary source review
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