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

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2001 - Buddhism - 257 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.
 

Contents

Introduction
3
1 Reading Manimekalai as Buddhist Literature
13
2 The Manimekalais Community of Readers and Listeners
58
3 The Manimekalais Buddhist Community Envisioned
87
Language Literary Theory and Religious Community
116
5 Imagining Community through Commentary
137
Conclusion
156
Notes
161
Bibliography
227
Index
245
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About the author (2001)

Anne E. Monius is at University of Virginia.

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