Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religion / Edition 1 by Hugh B. Urban | 9780520230620 | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religion / Edition 1

Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religion / Edition 1

by Hugh B. Urban
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520230620

ISBN-13: 9780520230620

Pub. Date: 10/14/2003

Publisher: University of California Press

A complex body of religious practices that spread throughout the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain traditions; a form of spirituality that seemingly combines sexuality, sensual pleasure, and the full range of physical experience with the religious life--Tantra has held a central yet conflicted role within the Western imagination ever since the first "discovery" of Indian

Overview

A complex body of religious practices that spread throughout the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain traditions; a form of spirituality that seemingly combines sexuality, sensual pleasure, and the full range of physical experience with the religious life--Tantra has held a central yet conflicted role within the Western imagination ever since the first "discovery" of Indian religions by European scholars. Always radical, always extremely Other, Tantra has proven a key factor in the imagining of India. This book offers a critical account of how the phenomenon has come to be.
Tracing the complex genealogy of Tantra as a category within the history of religions, Hugh B. Urban reveals how it has been formed through the interplay of popular and scholarly imaginations. Tantra emerges as a product of mirroring and misrepresentation at work between East and West--a dialectical category born out of the ongoing play between Western and Indian minds. Combining historical detail, textual analysis, popular cultural phenomena, and critical theory, this book shows Tantra as a shifting amalgam of fantasies, fears, and wish-fulfillment, at once native and Other, that strikes at the very heart of our constructions of the exotic Orient and the contemporary West.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520230620
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
10/14/2003
Pages:
388
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
1600L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Preface and Acknowledgments Abbreviations

Introduction: Diagnosing the "Disease" of Tantra
1. The Golden Age of the Vedas and the Dark Age of Kali: Tantrism, Orientalism, and the Bengal Renaissance
2. Sacrificing White Goats to the Goddess: Tantra and Political Violence in Colonial India
3. India's Darkest Heart: Tantra in the Literary Imagination
4. Deodorized Tantra: Sex, Scandal, Secrecy, and Censorship in the Works of John Woodroffe and Swami Vivekananda
5. Religion for the Age of Darkness: Tantra and the History of Religions in the Twentieth Century
6. The Cult of Ecstasy: Meldings of East and West in a New Age of Tantra Conclusion: Reimagining Tantra in Contemporary Discourse

Notes Bibliography Index

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