This chapter introduces the homa and the theoretical issue of studying ritual change over long periods of time and across the boundaries of ritual cultures. The cross-cultural transmission of the ritual out of the Indian subcontinent throughout the entire tantric world poses methodological issues, such as the balancing of textual and ethnographic studies. It considers the idea of ritual invariance which has long been characteristic of scholarly and popular understandings of ritual. The conception of ritual as invariant, however, has impeded the historical study of ritual change. The chapter closes by introducing each subsequent chapter.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.