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The Economics of Ecstasy: Tantra, Secrecy and Power in Colonial Bengal [NOOK Book]

Overview

"This volume explores the Bengali Kartabhaja sect and its place in the broader movement of Tantra, an Indian religious movement notorious for its alleged use of shocking sexual language and rituals. Hugh B. Urban looks closely at the relationship between the rise of the Kartabhajas, who flourished at the turn of the nineteenth century, and the changing economic context of colonial Bengal." Urban shows that the case of the Kartabhajas opens many new insights not merely into the specific case of one minor Bengali cult, but also into much larger
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The Economics of Ecstasy: Tantra, Secrecy and Power in Colonial Bengal

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Overview

"This volume explores the Bengali Kartabhaja sect and its place in the broader movement of Tantra, an Indian religious movement notorious for its alleged use of shocking sexual language and rituals. Hugh B. Urban looks closely at the relationship between the rise of the Kartabhajas, who flourished at the turn of the nineteenth century, and the changing economic context of colonial Bengal." Urban shows that the case of the Kartabhajas opens many new insights not merely into the specific case of one minor Bengali cult, but also into much larger cross-cultural and theoretical issues, including the changing role of the lower class, marginalized groups under the changing conditions of colonialism, the changing role of Tantric traditions during the period of British rule, and the topic of secrecy as a cross-cultural category in the study of religion. Urban's reflections on the ethical and epistemological dilemmas involved in studying traditions that wish to remain secret will set a new standard for discussion of this controversial issue.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Urban's two volumes offer a magisterial overview and theoretically sophisticated interpretation of a group that is notoriously difficult to approach, either linguistically or in terms of context." —Journal of the American Oriental Society

"A refreshing blend of archival and field research, history of religions, postmodernism, and postcolonial studies."— The Journal of Religion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198031826
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/29/2001
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 832 KB

Meet the Author

Ohio State University

University of Chicago

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Table of Contents

A Note (or Apology) on Transliteration
Abbreviations
Introduction: Secrecy and Symbolic Power
I. The Secret Marketplace: Historical Origins and Socioeconomic Contexts
1. The Underworld of the Imperial City: The Religious, Social, Economic Context of Early Colonial Bengal and the Rise of the Kartabhajas
2. The Religion of Man (Manuser Dharma): The Religious Ideals and Social Vision of the Kartabhajas
II. The Power of Secrecy: Esoteric Discourse and Practice
3. The Language of the Mint: Secrecy and Esoteric Discourse in the Kartabhajas Tradition
4. The Poor Company: Mercantile Discourse and Its Deformations in the Bhaver Gita
5. Secret Bodies: Physical Disciplines and Ecstatic Techniques
III. The Liability of Secrecy: Secrecy as a Source of Scandal and Slander, Elitism and Exploitation
6. The Stinking Fruit in the Garden of Love: The Katabhajas and the Ambivalent Role of "Tantra" in Colonial Bengal
7. The Economics of Ecstacy: The Economic Hierarchy and Business Tactics of the Katabhajas
8. The Progressive "Exotericization" and "Institutionalization" of an Esoteric Tradition
Conclusions and Comparative Comments: "Uninitiated Understanding"
Notes
Select Bibliography
Index

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    To whoever is in charge

    Advettising an evil clan? Thats a fail. You need to watch for people who seem good enough for the job, and give them a riddle to a result to ask them to join. Simple as that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    Shadow

    A shadow was there...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    Zivakit

    Woohoo btw micakit he posted the absolute location on erin hunter first res.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    Micakit

    Congratulations! I'm glad someone else was smart enough.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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