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Asrama System: History and Hermeneutics of a Religious Institution (Patrick Olivelle) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 1993) 9780195083279
Asrama System: History and Hermeneutics of a Religious Institution (Patrick Olivelle) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 1993) 9780195083279
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Title: Asrama System: History and Hermeneutics of a Religious Institution

Author: Olivelle, Patrick

Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 1993

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780195083279

Volumes: 1; Pages: 288

List Price in Cloth: $120.00 Our price: $97.99

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The lesser known and explored of the two pillars of Hinduism--asrama and varna--asrama is the name given to a system of four distinct and legitimate ways of leading a religious life: as a celibate student, a married householder, a forest hermit, and a world renouncer. In this, the first full-length study of the asrama system, Olivelle uncovers its origin and traces its subsequent history. He examines in depth its relationship to other institutional and doctrinal aspects of the Brahmanical world and its position within Brahmanical theology, and assesses its significance within the history of Indian religion. Throughout, he argues that the asrama system is primarily a theological construct and that the system and its history should be carefully distinguished from the socio-religious institutions comprehended by the system and from their respective histories."Patrick Olivelle's revelatory book-the first full-length study of asrama-begins to right the balance and in the process greatly expands our understanding of Indian civilization. As a bonus, it gives the reader a valuable education in the principles of Brahmanical hermeneutics. ... This is a work that will interest anyone concerned with the cultural role of the exegetical impulse. It is also a work that nobody with a serious interest in Indian civilization should leave unread."--History of Religions"Olivelle's study is both revisionist and exemplary. ... An intellectually engaging study of the way ideas evolve and change within a tradition. Highly recommended."--Religious Studies Review"[A] superb volume. ...[A] masterful account..."--The Journal of Religion"This is the first book-length study of the asrama system, and should revolutionize current thinking and teaching on the subject. ... Olivelle's work is careful, and instructive. ... Full of interesting information and argumentation. ... The Asrama System is helpful and thought-provoking."--Journal of the American Oriental System"... a book which illuminates not only the history of the asrama system but much else in the tradition of Indian hermeneutics. All in all, this is a book to be warmly welcomed and carefully studied."--Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
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