Although ecstasy has been explored in several Indian contexts, surprisingly little scholarship has been devoted to its central role in Bengali devotion. In The Madness of the Saints, June McDaniel undertakes the first comprehensive study of religious ecstasy in Bengal, examining the texts that describe it, the people who experience it, and the traditions that support it.
Studies religious ecstasy in the devotional, or bhakti, tradition, drawing on theological texts, biographies of ecstatic saints, and interviews with living ecstatics. Covers the path of steady progress and the path of sudden breakthrough, and the important place of women and Muslims in the religion. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)