The Intimate Other: Love Divine in Indic Religions

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Anna S. King, J. L. Brockington
Orient Blackswan, 2005 - Bhakti - 425 pages
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The Intimate Other explores the theme of the devotional element in Indic Religions not only in Hinduism in which bhakti has become the dominant form, but also in Budhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Islam. The essays by scholars of international repute, show the strength of this devotion to the divine as a living and powerful source of value, aesthetic imagination, creativity and well-being . They also analyse the sometimes divergent interests of scholar and devotee, problematising devotion and exposing its historical development as complex, contested and 'political'. Of particular interest are the chapters on the Jain and Buddhist traditions where the existence of devotion has often been doubted or denied. Contributors investigate widely raging topics: these include an analysis of bhakti within the Sanskrit epics; a text-historical approach to Valmiki; Kabir's authorship of the poems attributed to him; contemporary attitudes to devotion to the Ganga: devotion within a syncretistic Jain movement, in Theravada Budhism, subcontinental Sufi Islam, young Sikhs in Britain and in the shared musical and poetic traditions of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. The volume ends with a sensitive exploration of the devotional love that overpowers death within the Hindus, sikhs and Muslims. The volume ends with a sensitive exploration of the devotional love that overpowers death within the Hindu bhakti context. Together they demonstrate vividly just how passionate love for the intimate other penetrates and inspires so many aspects of the religious culture of South Asia.
 

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Contents

ONE Introduction
1
TWO The Epics in the Bhakti Tradition
31
THREE The Implications of Bhakti for the Story
54
Three
78
Do We Sing His Songs
129
Waters of Devotion
153
Simandhar Svami
194
EIGHT Devotion to the Buddha in Theravada
244
NINE The Heart of Islam in the Subcontinent
278
TEN Young British Sikhs and Religious Devotion
310
ELEVEN The Religion of Music
337
The Transfigurative
369
Notes on Contributors
409
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