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Author McGovern, Nathan, 1981- author
Title The snake and the mongoose : the emergence of identity in early Indian religion / Nathan McGovern
Imprint New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2019]
book jacket
 Fu Ssu-Nien WTN LANG BK  BL2015.I34 M146 2019    AVAILABLE    30530001330414
Descript xiv, 313 pages; 25 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Note "This book turns the commonly-accepted model of the origins of the early Indian religions on its head. Since the beginning of modern Indology in the 19th century, the relationship between the major early Indian religions of Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism has been based on an assumed dichotomy between two meta-historical identities: 'the Brahmans' and the newer 'non-Brahmanical' sramana movements. Textbook and scholarly accounts typically purport an 'opposition' between these two groups by citing the 2nd-century-BCE Sanskrit grammarian PataƱjali, often stating erroneously that he compared their animosity for one another to that of the snake and the mongoose. This book seeks to de-center the Hindu Brahman from our understanding of Indian religion by 'taming the snake and the mongoose'--that is, abandoning the anachronistic distinction between 'Brahmanical' and 'non-Brahmanical' and letting the earliest articulations of identity in Indian religion speak for themselves on their own terms. It accomplishes this goal through a comparative reading of texts preserved by the three major groups that emerged from the social, political, cultural, and religious foment of the late first millennium BCE: the Buddhists and Jains as they represented themselves in their earliest sutras, and the Vedic Brahmans as they represented themselves in their Dharma Sutras. The picture that emerges is not of a fundamental dichotomy between Brahmanical and non-Brahmanical, but rather of many different groups who all saw themselves as Brahmanical, and out of whose contestation with one another the distinction between Brahmanical and non-Brahmanical--the snake and the mongoose--emerged"-- Provided by publisher
Includes bibliographical references (pages 293-303) and index
The snake and the mongoose at the horizon of Indian history -- Taming the snake and the mongoose of Indian history -- The Brahman as a celibate renunciant -- The Brahman as a head of a household -- The emergence of the snake and the mongoose -- Losing an argument by focusing on being right
Subject India -- Religion
Identification (Religion) -- History -- To 1500
Buddhism -- Origin
Jainism -- Origin
Hinduism -- Origin
Alt Title The snake & the mongoose
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