The Body of God: An Emperor's Palace for Krishna in Eighth Century Kanchipuram

D. Dennis Hudson

Anno: 2008
Rilegatura: Hardback
Pagine: 608 p.
Testo in English
Dimensioni: 242 x 164 mm
Peso: 1095 gr.
  • EAN: 9780195369229
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This remarkable book is the crowning achievement of the great scholar of Hinduism, D. Dennis Hudson. Although Hudson died without completing it, the work has been edited and brought to fruition by editor Margaret Case. The book is a finely detailed study of a renowned Tamil Hindu temple, the Vaikuntha Perumal (ca. 770 C.E.). Hudson uses this temple as an illustration of one major current and historical stage in South Indian Vaisnava religion. He offers a sustained reading of the temple as a coherent, organized, minutely conceptualized mandala, whose code can be cracked by close analysis of the temple iconography and structure, in the light of major literary and religious texts. Hudson takes the reader step by step on a tour of the temple, moving from the bottom level up, from one sculpted panel to the next. His primary thesis is that the temple itself constitutes a summa theologica for the Bhagavata tradition centered on Krishna as it had developed through the eighth century-by which time this tradition was already at least a thousand years old and had spread widely across South Asia and into Southeast Asia. He argues that, through its full expression of the theology and religious practices of this tradition, the temple offers a crucial hermeneutical key for understanding other temples and texts of the Bhagavata religion.