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Worldly Gurus and Spiritual Kings: Architecture and Asceticism in Medieval India

  • Format: Book

  • Pages: 281

  • Publisher: Yale

  • Date Published: Jul 2014

  • Stock Code: 84009

  • ISBN: 9780300198447

  • Binding: Hardback

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Description

This pioneering book is the first full-length study of the matha, or Hindu monastery, which developed in India at the turn of the first millenium.  Rendered monumentally in stone, the matha represented more than just architectural innovation: it signalled both the institutionalization of asceticism into a formalized monastic practice and the emergence of the guru as an influential public figure.  With entirely new primary research, Tamara Sears examines the architectural and archaelogical histories of six little known monasteries in Central India and reveals the relationships between political power, religion, and the production of sacred space.

Worldly Gurus and Spiritual Kings features scrupulous original measured drawings and provides a vast amount of new material and a much-needed contribution to the fields of Asian art, religious studies, and cultural history.  In introducing new categories of architecture, Sears illuminates the potential of buildings to reconfigure not only social and ritual relationships but also the fundamental ontology of the world.

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