Dealing with Deities: The Ritual Vow in South Asia

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Explores the practice of taking ritual vows in South Asia, a lay tradition prevalent in the region’s religions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791467084
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 287
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Selva J. Raj (1952–2008) was Chair and Stanley S. Kresge Professor of Religious Studies at Albion College. He is the coeditor (with Corinne G. Dempsey) of Miracle as Modern Conundrum in South Asian Religious Traditions; Popular Christianity in India: Riting between the Lines; and Sacred Play: Ritual Levity and Humor in South Asian Religions, all published by SUNY Press.

William P. Harman is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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Table of Contents

Maps and Illustrations
Sites Associated with Rituals Vow

1. Introduction: The Deal with Deities—Ways Vows Work in South Asia
Selva J. Raj and William P. Harman

2. "The Vow": A Short Story
Shankarrao Kharat

I. Getting What You Want

3. Negotiating Relationships with the Goddess
William P. Harman

4. Shared Vows, Shared Space, and Shared Deities: Vow Rituals among Tamil Catholics in South India
Selva J. Raj

5. Religious Vows at the Shrine of Shahul Hamid
Vasudha Narayanan

6. In the Company of Pirs: Making Vows, Receiving Favors at Bangladeshi Sufi Shrines
Sufia Uddin

7. Bara: Buddhist Vows at Kataragama
Sunil Goonasekera

8. Performing Vows in Diasporic Contexts: Tamil Hindus, Temples, and Goddesses in Germany
Martin Baumann

II. Getting What You Need

9. Singing a Vow: Devoting Oneself to Shiva through Song
Karen Pechilis

10. Monastic Vows and the Ramananda Sampraday
Ramdas Lamb

11. Negotiating Karma, Merit, and Liberation: Vow-taking in the Jain Tradition
M. Whitney Kelting

12. Vows in the Sikh Tradition
Louis E. Fenech and Pashaura Singh

III. Getting Nothing At All

13. When Vows Fail to Deliver What They Promise: The Case of Shyamavati
Tracy Pintchman

14. Two Critiques of Women's Vows
Jack E. Llewellyn

IV. Conclusion: Some Promising Possibilities

15. Toward a Typology of South Asian Lay Vows
Selva J. Raj and William P. Harman

Appendix: Essays Arranged According to Tradition

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