The Buddhist Visnu: Religious Transformation, Politics, and Culture by John C. Holt | 9780231133227 | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Buddhist Visnu: Religious Transformation, Politics, and Culture

The Buddhist Visnu: Religious Transformation, Politics, and Culture

by John C. Holt
     
 

ISBN-10: 0231133227

ISBN-13: 9780231133227

Pub. Date: 12/22/2004

Publisher: Columbia University Press

John Holt's groundbreaking study examines the assimilation, transformation, and subordination of the Hindu deity Visnu within the contexts of Sri Lankan history and Sinhala Buddhist religious culture. Holt argues that political agendas and social forces, as much as doctrinal concerns, have shaped the shifting patterns of the veneration of Visnu in Sri Lanka.

Holt

Overview

John Holt's groundbreaking study examines the assimilation, transformation, and subordination of the Hindu deity Visnu within the contexts of Sri Lankan history and Sinhala Buddhist religious culture. Holt argues that political agendas and social forces, as much as doctrinal concerns, have shaped the shifting patterns of the veneration of Visnu in Sri Lanka.

Holt begins with a comparative look at the assimilation of the Buddha in Hinduism. He then explores the role and rationale of medieval Sinhala kings in assimilating Visnu into Sinhala Buddhism. Offering analyses of texts, many of which have never before been translated into English, Holt considers the development of Visnu in Buddhist literature and the changing practices of deity veneration. Shifting to the present, Holt describes the efforts of contemporary Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka to discourage the veneration of Visnu, suggesting that many are motivated by a reactionary fear that their culture and society will soon be overrun by the influences and practices of Hindus, Muslims, and Christians.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231133227
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
12/22/2004
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

PrefacePart I. Introduction: The Historical and Theoretical Problems1. The "Hindu Buddha" and the "Buddhist Visnu"2. "Unceasing Waves": Brahmanical and Hindu Influences on Medieval Sinhala Buddhist Culture in Sri Lanka3. The Sandalwood Image: Upulvan Deviyo and the Origins of the Cult of Visnu in Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka4. Transformed Deity: The "Buddhist Visnu" in Sinhala Literature and LiturgyPart II. Introduction: The Cult of Visnu in Buddhist Sri Lanka5. Seeking Protection: Cultic Life at the Udarata Visnu Devalayas6. The Valiyaka Mangalya: The Curative Powers of the Mala Raja7. Legacies of the "Buddhist Visnu": Myth and Cult at the Alutnuvara Devalaya8. Minister of Defense? The Politics of Deification in Contemporary Sri LankaConclusionNotes Bibliography Index of place namesIndex of Texts (Translated or Cited)Subject IndexMap

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