Imagining a Place for Buddhism: Literary Culture and Religious Community in Tamil-Speaking South India

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Oxford University Press, Dec 6, 2001 - Religion - 272 pages
While Tamil-speaking South India is celebrated for its preservation of Hindu tradition, other religious communities have played a significant role in shaping the region's religious history. Among these non-Hindu communities is that of the Buddhists, who are little-understood because of the scarcity of remnants of Tamil-speaking Buddhist culture. Here, focusing on the two Buddhist texts in Tamil that are complete (a sixth-century poetic narrative and an eleventh-century treatise on grammar and poetics), Monius sheds light on the role of literature and literary culture in the formation, articulation, and evolution of religious identity and community.

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1 Reading Manimekalai as Buddhist Literature
2 The Manimekalais Community of Readers and Listeners
3 The Manimekalais Buddhist Community Envisioned
Language Literary Theory and Religious Community
5 Imagining Community through Commentary

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Page 181 - I defend the literary imagination precisely because it seems to me an essential ingredient of an ethical stance that asks us to concern ourselves with the good of other people whose lives are distant from our own.
Page 99 - ... which he was led to believe were those of Adam. And why should I make a long story of it ? In sooth, the whole population of Cambaluc went forth to meet those reliques, and the ecclesiastics took them over and carried them to the Great Kaan, who received them with great joy and...
Page 167 - The coherence of literature as an event is primarily mediated in the horizon of expectations of the literary experience of contemporary and later readers, critics, and authors.
Page 205 - In the very numeruos inscriptions, on copper and stone, left by the rulers of the Pallava dynasty, no reference is made to relations, friendly or hostile, with the countries overseas. No sea-voyage is, in fact, alluded to. It would, however, be rash to conclude from this silence that such relations did not exist. Let us take the case of Ceylon for example. The epigraphical records of the Pallavas do not contain a word about any war waged by...
Page 62 - Quite fitting for one who is surroundbd by the darkness of ignorance. For : The body, a mine of diseases, subject to old age, poised on the brink of hidden Death, Is like a tree on a river bank, about to be uprooted by the ever-battering wave. And though such human embodiment is earned through numerous good...
Page 204 - PAGODA AT NEGAPATAM. Sir Walter ELLIOT, KCSI, to whom Yule refers for the information given about this pagoda, has since published in the Indian Antiquary, VII., 1878, pp. 224-227, an interesting article with the title : The Edifice formerly known as the Chinese or Jaina Pagoda at Negapatam, from which we gather the following particulars regarding its destruction : — " It went by various names, as the Puduveli-gdpuram, the old pagoda, Chinese pagoda, black pagoda, and in the map of the Trigonometrical...
Page 64 - Look at you ! Your face spangled with beads of perspiration, eyebrow-creepers in graceful agitation, Wanton movements, causeless smiles, speech with slurring syllables, A pair of rolling eyes with languid side-long glances, and with reddish tinge suffused, Hair falling over your shoulders, its garland all unloosed ! (6) 23.

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