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Ancient Religions of the Austronesian World: From Australasia to Taiwan

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Ancient Religions of the Austronesian World: From Australasia to Taiwan Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Austronesia is the vast oceanic region which stretches from Madagascar to Taiwan to New Zealand. Encompassing both scattered archipelagos and major landmasses, Austronesia - derived from the Latin australis, 'southern', and Greek nesos, 'island' - is used primarily as a linguistic term, designating a family of languages spoken by peoples with a shared heritage. Julian Baldick, a celebrated historian of ancient religion, here argues that the diverse inhabitants of the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, New Guinea and Oceania show a common inheritance that extends beyond language. This commonality is found above all in mythology and ritual, which reach back to an ancient, prehistoric past. From around 1250 BCE the original proto-Oceanic speakers migrated eastwards from southeast Asia. Navigating by the sun, the stars, bird flight, the swells of the sea and cloud-swathed mountain islands, Austronesian voyagers used canoes and outriggers to settle on new territories. They developed a unified pattern of religion characterised by mortuary rites, headhunting and agrarian rituals of the annual calendar, culminating in a post-harvest festival often sexual in nature. This unique overview of Austronesian belief and tradition will be essential reading for students of religion, prehistory and anthropology.

Synopsis:

Austronesia is the vast oceanic region which stretches from Madagascar to Taiwan to New Zealand. Encompassing both scattered archipelagos and major landmasses, Austronesia - derived from the Latin australis, 'southern', and Greek nesos, 'island' - is used primarily as a linguistic term, designating a family of languages spoken by peoples with a shared heritage. Julian Baldick, a celebrated historian of ancient religion, here argues that the diverse inhabitants of the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, New Guinea and Oceania show a common inheritance that extends beyond language. This commonality is found above all in mythology and ritual, which reach back to an ancient, prehistoric past. From around 1250 BCE the original proto-Oceanic speakers migrated eastwards from southeast Asia. Navigating by the sun, the stars, bird flight, the swells of the sea and cloud-swathed mountain islands, Austronesian voyagers used canoes and outriggers to settle on new territories. They developed a unified pattern of religion characterised by mortuary rites, headhunting and agrarian rituals of the annual calendar, culminating in a post-harvest festival often sexual in nature. This unique overview of Austronesian belief and tradition will be essential reading for students of religion, prehistory and anthropology.

About the Author

Julian Baldick was, until his retirement in 2007, Reader in the Study of Religions at King's College London. He is the author of Black God: The Asiatic Roots of Jewish, Christian and Muslim Religions; Mystical Islam: An Introduction to Sufism (new edition, 2012); and Animal and Shaman: Ancient Religions of Central Asia (new edition, 2012), all published by I.B.Tauris.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements * Introduction * Taiwan * Western Malayo-Polynesian speakers * Central Malayo-Polynesian speakers * Eastern Malayo-Polynesian speakers * Conclusions * Notes * Bibliography * Index One: Names of Persons, Deities etc. * Index Two: Names of Peoples * Index Three: Subjects

Product Details

ISBN:
9781780763668
Author:
Baldick, Julian
Publisher:
I. B. Tauris & Company
Subject:
World History-Asia
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Asia - General
Subject:
Australia-New Zealand
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20130631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.175 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » Asia » General
History and Social Science » World History » Australia and New Zealand
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Western Religions » Mysticism
Transportation » Railroads » General

Ancient Religions of the Austronesian World: From Australasia to Taiwan New Hardcover
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Product details 256 pages I. B. Tauris & Company - English 9781780763668 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Austronesia is the vast oceanic region which stretches from Madagascar to Taiwan to New Zealand. Encompassing both scattered archipelagos and major landmasses, Austronesia - derived from the Latin australis, 'southern', and Greek nesos, 'island' - is used primarily as a linguistic term, designating a family of languages spoken by peoples with a shared heritage. Julian Baldick, a celebrated historian of ancient religion, here argues that the diverse inhabitants of the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, New Guinea and Oceania show a common inheritance that extends beyond language. This commonality is found above all in mythology and ritual, which reach back to an ancient, prehistoric past. From around 1250 BCE the original proto-Oceanic speakers migrated eastwards from southeast Asia. Navigating by the sun, the stars, bird flight, the swells of the sea and cloud-swathed mountain islands, Austronesian voyagers used canoes and outriggers to settle on new territories. They developed a unified pattern of religion characterised by mortuary rites, headhunting and agrarian rituals of the annual calendar, culminating in a post-harvest festival often sexual in nature. This unique overview of Austronesian belief and tradition will be essential reading for students of religion, prehistory and anthropology.
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