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Indian Asceticism – Power, Violence, and Play - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Indian Asceticism: Power, Violence, and Play

Carl Olson


Indian cultural discourses and narratives about ascetics are examined to understand the powers exhibited by ascetics, which are byproducts of their path, and the ways that these powers are interconnected to issues of violence and forms of play (eroticism, the demonic, the comic, and the miraculous). The argument includes evidence from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The book culminates in the final chapter with an attempt to re-imagine the nature of power. While on their spiritual path, an ascetic gains the ability to fly, walk on water, read other minds, know former lives, see into the futur ... More

Keywords: asceticism, power, violence, demonic, language, eroticism, comic, miracles, theory, narrative

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780190225315
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190225315.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Carl Olson, author
Allegheny College