This collection brings together the research papers of Patrick Olivelle, published over a period of about ten years. The unifying theme of these studies is the search for historical context and developments hidden within words and texts. Words - and the cultural history represented by words - that scholars often take for granted as having a continuous and long history are often new and even neologisms, and thus provide important clues to cultural and religious invations. Olivelle's book on the Asramas, as well as the short pieces included in this volume, such as those on ananda and dharma, seek to see cultural invation and historical changes within the changing semantic fields of key terms. Closer examination of numerous Sanskrit terms taken for granted as central to 'Hinduism' provide similar results. Indian texts have often been studied in the past as disincarnate realities providing information on an ahistorical and unchanging culture. This volume is a small contribution towards correcting that method of textual study.
Patrick Olivelle is Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Religions at the University of Texas at Austin, where he served as Chair of the Department of Asian Studies from 1994 to 2007. He previously taught in the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington from 1974 to 1991, where he was the Department Chair from 1984 to 1990.
Date of Publication
Cultural, Historical and Textual Studies of South Asian Religions