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Beyond Dharma

Beyond Dharma

Wendy Doniger

Category

Non-fiction

Format

Hardback

Price

$9.46 $8.53

In Stock

$9.46 $8.53

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Hardback | ISBN 9789387693210 | 248 pp | April 2018

Summary

Ancient Hindu texts speak of the three aims of human life: dharma, artha and kama. Translated, these might be called religion, politics and pleasure, and each is held to be an essential requirement of a full and fulfilling life. Balance among the three is a goal not always met, however, and dharma has historically taken precedence over the other two qualities, or goals, in Hindu life. Here, Wendy Doniger offers a spirited and close reading of ancient Indian writings—especially Kautilya’s Arthashastra and Vatsyayana’s Kamasutra—unpacking a long but unrecognized history of opposition against dharma.
Doniger argues that scientific disciplines (shastras) have offered lively and continuous criticism of dharma over many centuries. She chronicles the tradition of veiled subversion, uncovers connections to key moments of resistance and voices of dissent throughout Indian history, and offers insights into the Indian theocracy’s subversion of science by an exclusivist version of religion today.


Reviews

‘A groundbreaking book. Wendy Doniger subverts accepted notions of dharma using the prism of the Arthashastra and Kamasutra. This is not simply “original”; nothing like this has been done before.’—Patrick Olivelle, author of King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India


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About the author

Wendy Doniger

Wendy Doniger is the author of several acclaimed and bestselling works, among them, The Hindus: An Alternative History; Hindu Myths; On Hinduism; Siva, the Erotic Ascetic; Dreams, Illusion and Other realities; and translations of the Rig Veda and the Kamasutra (with Sudhir Kakar). She is the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of […]

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