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One Lifetime, Many Lives: The Experience of Modern Hindu Hagiography (Robin Rinehart) Paperback Book, (Oxford University Press, 1998) 9780788505553
One Lifetime, Many Lives: The Experience of Modern Hindu Hagiography (Robin Rinehart) Paperback Book, (Oxford University Press, 1998) 9780788505553
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Title: One Lifetime, Many Lives: The Experience of Modern Hindu Hagiography

Author: Rinehart, Robin

Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 1998

Paperback; ISBN: 9780788505553

Volumes: 1; Pages: 240

List Price in Paper: $35.00 Our price: $27.99

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Hagiography, the saint's life, is one of the most popular genres of religious literature in India. For this study, Robin Rinehart has delved into the multiple written and oral accounts of the life of Swami Rama Tirtha (1873-1906). While the earliest accounts of his life portray him as a deeply spiritual man and compelling religious leader, the most recent accounts make far more sweeping claims about him as an avatar and as the primary force behind India's achievement of independence from the British in 1947. Through analysis of the rhetorical strategies of those who have written about his life (his hagiographers), Rinehart shows that descriptions of the experience of being in Swami Rama Tirtha's presence are a central feature of these accounts. The differences between the experiences of close disciples of the Swami and those of followers of a later period help account for the radical changes in the portrayal of the Swami in the hagiographical tradition. Focusing on the role of the hagiographer as mediator between the saint and the saint's followers, Rinehart highlights the role of hagiographers in shaping these followers' communities."[Rinehart's] insightful analysis of how Swami Rama Tirtha came to be more celebrated as he was reinvented by subsequent generations of followers should serve as a model for studies of the social function of holy people."--E. Ann Matter, University of Pennsylvania"... a book I plan to use in my courses and to recommend to students and colleagues. ... It is a mature and sophisticated work which not only will become the definitive scholarly study of the modern Hindu saint Swami Rama Tirtha but which also raises important questions about the nature and process of hagiography, the 'making' of a saint through writing..."--Kathleen M. Erndl, Florida State University
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