Next Article in Journal
Feminisms and Challenges to Institutionalized Philosophy of Religion
Previous Article in Journal
Heading to Chaityabhoomi: Pilgrimages of Remembrance
Previous Article in Special Issue
A Day in the Life of an Aesthetic Tāntrika: From Synaesthetic Garden to Lucid Dreaming and Spaciousness
Article Menu
Issue 4 (April) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Religions 2018, 9(4), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9040112

The King Must Protect the Difference: The Juridical Foundations of Tantric Knowledge

Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 February 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Society for Tantric Studies Proceedings (2016))
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [370 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]

Abstract

Drawing upon inscriptional, art historical, as well as largely unstudied and unpublished textual evidence, this paper examines the conceptualization of religious diversity in the Medieval Deccan prior to the Islamic invasions. What our archive suggests, somewhat counterintuitively, is that from the perspective of the state and other disciplinary institutions, religious difference was conceived of in primarily juridical as opposed to doxographical terms; it was a matter of law rather than belief. In other words, in practice, the social performance of the religious identities of particular communities proved inseparable from the delineation of the highly specific legal rights and obligations to which those communities were entitled to adhere. Succinctly, medieval India’s religious diversity was inextricable from the widespread acceptance of a rather capaciously imagined emic form of legal pluralism. The early medieval Dharmaśāstric commentarial tradition locates the textual foundation of this approach to legal pluralism in a discrete and consistent canon of textual resources. As the present work demonstrates, by the eighth century—from the perspective of the Brahmanical legalists themselves—it is this internally coherent body of dharma knowledge that emerges as the key conceptual resource that makes a place within the wider social ecologies of the medieval Deccan for the Tantric knowledge systems and those who practice them. View Full-Text
Keywords: legal pluralism; Tantra; Hindu Law; religious tolerance; feudalism; Bhairava legal pluralism; Tantra; Hindu Law; religious tolerance; feudalism; Bhairava
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Schwartz, J. The King Must Protect the Difference: The Juridical Foundations of Tantric Knowledge. Religions 2018, 9, 112.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top