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DharmaIts Early History in Law, Religion, and Narrative$
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Alf Hiltebeitel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195394238

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394238.001.0001

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(p.3) 1 Introduction

Alf Hiltebeitel

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the book's usage of “dharma texts,”, and proposes a chronology of the eleven discussed. It then takes up the three main texts used, the two Sanskrit epics and Manu, offering arguments in their favor of their Critical Editions. After discussing B. M. Matilial's notion of a paradigm shift around Kṛṣṇa as offering a way of thinking about the Mahābhārata in particular as introducing change over time with regard to dharma in the handling of moral dilemmas, it concludes by outlining the book in relation to this theme.

Keywords:   dharma texts, Critical Editions of Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa, Mānavadharmaśāstra, Laws of Manu, Kṛṣṇa, moral dilemmas

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