Attending Krishna's Image: Chaitanya Vaishnava Murti-seva as Devotional Truth

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-06-23
  • Publisher: Routledge

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There is a steady and growing scholarly and popular interest in Hindu religious - especially devotional (bhakti) traditions as forms of spiritual practice and expressions of divine embodiment. Associated with this is the attention to sacred images and their worship. This book extends the discussion on Indian images and their worship, bringing historical and comparative dimensions and considering Krishna worship in the context of modernity, both in India and the West. It focuses on one specific worship tradition, the Chaitanya Vaishnava tradition of the 14th to 16th centuries, as it develops and sustains itself in two specific locales. By applying the comparative category of "religious truth," the author provides a comprehensive understanding of a living religious tradition. He successfully demonstrates the understanding of devotion as a process of participation with divine embodiment in which worship of Krishna's image is integral. A presentation of a traditional north Indian Krishna temple, which represents an "embodied community" and a western Krishna temple to represent a "missionizing tradition" of the Hari Krishnas (ISCON-The International Society of Krishna Consciousness), completes this analysis. This book offers an original contribution to comparative religious studies.

Author Biography

Kenneth Russell Valpey is currently a post-doctoral research fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and an associate lecturer of the University of Wales, Lampeter

Table of Contents

Series editor's preface ix
Preface xi
List of abbreviations
Introduction: locating Krsna's image 1(12)
PART I Embodied truth
Texts as context: core textual sources and patterns for Caitanya Vaisnava image worship
Temple as context: the Radharamana Temple as embodied community
PART II Missionizing truth
Krsna's new look: a worship tradition faces West
Migrant texts, migrant images: resettling Krsna in the West
Conclusion: images of religious truth 153(14)
Notes 167(34)
Sources 201(17)
Index 218

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