Asceticism and Power in South and Southeast Asia
Edited by Peter Flügel, Gustaaf Houtman
Routledge – 2013 – 336 pages
Series: Royal Asiatic Society Books
Including analyses by top academics in the field, this book takes a unique look at questions of power and asceticism in the Hindu, Jain and Buddhist traditions of South and Southeast Asia.
Ideas about power and purity in these three traditions are crucially related to ascetic practices. Paradoxically, asceticism is in these traditions conceived not only as a means of world-renunciation but also as a means of world-transformation. However, the way in which the conflictual relationship between these two aspects is conceptualized and organized varies historically and regionally and is subject of ongoing religious contests and political negotiations.
This is the first book to provide a comparative analysis of the related traditions and their history in relation to the questions of power and legitimacy throughout contemporary Asia.
Part 1: Historical 1. Power of Words: The Ascetic Appropriation and the Semantic Evolution of Dharma Patrick Olivelle 2. Power and Status: Ramanandi Warrior Ascetics in 18th Century Jaipur Monika Horstmann 3. The Householder Ascetic and the Uses of Self-Discipline Timothy Lubin 4. The Buddhist Wrathful Ascetic: An Analysis of the Mataga Jataka Justin Meiland 5. Yogic and Political Power among the Nath Siddhas of North India David Gordon White 6. Ascetics' Rights in Early 19th Century Jaipur (Rajasthan) Catherine Clémentin-Ojha Part 2: Contemporary 7. Guru and Politics in India: Public 'Eminences Grises'? Christophe Jaffrelot 8. The Power of the Dead: Relic Worship amongst the Jains Peter Flügel 9. Legitimacy and Power within the Dasanami Order: Sankaracarya and the Monasteries Matthew Clarke 10. Guru Bhagwan Ram and the Politics of Aghor Roxanne Poormon Gupta 11. Asceticism as Political Protest: The Self-Immolations of Vietnamese Buddhists in the 1960s Emmi Okada 12. Moderate Asceticism among the Thai Urban Middle Class: Alternative Paths to Buddhist Piety and Social Prestige Irene Stengs 13. The Quest for Salvation in Burmese Buddhism: World-Renunciation or World-Transformation Guillaume Rozenberg 14. Asceticism in the Political Language of Aung San and his Daughter Aung San Suu Kyi Gustaaf Houtman