Synopses & Reviews
Focusing on Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism, this book argues that asceticism must be understood within the boundaries of tradition. It exemplifies a completely new paradigm for comparative religion which seeks to avoid a problematic universalism on the one hand and an area-specific relativism on the other. The volume's original contribution to methodology will be influential in the future development of comparative religious studies.
Asceticism, giving up sensual pleasures for a spiritual goal, is practised in many religions. This book focuses on Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism, and argues that asceticism must be understood within its tradition. The book provides a new paradigm for comparative religion which will influence the development of the entire field.
A new approach to comparing religions (Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism), focusing on traditions of asceticism.
About the Author
Gavin Flood is Professor of Religion at the University of Stirling, and the author of An Introduction to Hinduism (CUP, 1996).
Table of Contents
1. Setting the parameters; Part I. The Ascetic Self in Text and History: 2. The asceticism of work: Simone Weil; 3. The asceticism of action: The Bhagavad-gita and Yoga-sutras; 4. The asceticism of action: Tantra; 5. The asceticism of the Middle Way; 6. The asceticism of the desert; 7. The asceticism of love and wisdom; Part II. Theorising the Ascetic Self: 8. The ritual construction of the ascetic self; 9. Modernity and the ascetic self.