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Religious Studies Review

VOLUME 38

NUMBER 3

SEPTEMBER 2012

South Asia
SUFISM AND SOCIETY IN MEDIEVAL ISLAM. Edited by Raziuddin Aquil. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. xxiv + 184. $55.00. This volume is by no means original, except for the introduction, but each of the essays included address a set of concerns about the role of Susm in medieval India as the title indicates. All of the chapters have been published previously, and there is very little that holds them together, except their collective contested nature. Given that the volume is part of a series titled Debates in Indian History and Society, the contributions disparate nature should not distract the reader but compel him or her to make connections between seemingly different temporal and spatial contexts that together constitute the dynamic role that Sus played (and continue to play) in South Asian religious debates and cultural politics. The blurb claims that all of the articles in the volume are seminal, but some are obscure and very rarely cited in the literature. There are some real gems here, however, such as Richard Eatons discussion of Su folk literature, Carl Ernsts interrogation of conversion debates, and Muzaffar Alams investigation of Su accommodations in Avadh. The editors introduction usefully frames the essays in such a way as to make them cohere for classroom discussions. This book would be most effectively used in seminars on Susm in South Asia. Frank J. Korom Boston University

among monks and nuns, the author has a solid body of ethnographic data to support her broad-based claims. This is a volume that will be of interest to specialists, but it may have limited readership in the long run because it could have been edited more tightly to reduce its bulk signicantly. Frank J. Korom Boston University

THE DIFFICULTY OF BEING GOOD: ON THE SUBTLE ART OF DHARMA. By Gurcharan Das. New
York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Pp. lii + 434. $16.95. In this practical analysis of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, Das focuses on each of the epics main characters and the qualities that most dene them, connecting these to contemporary historical analogues. His overall goal is to show the applicability of this classical text to our modern lives via the common questions that humans generally ask regarding dharma (being good). He approaches these questions through the very concrete examples of the problems (the difculty) that charactersboth real and ctionalencounter. Das paints a colorful picture of the tortured authors who were behind the bloody and belligerent epic as it has come down to us today by connecting, for example, the status of Karna to quota systems in postinde pendence India, Arjunas despair in the Bhagavad Gta to Americas wars in Iraq, and Krsnas guile and trickery to the difculty of ghting a just war. While citing numerous passages from the epic itself and the correlate secondary scholarship, Das also references Shakespeares Henry V on warfare, de Tocquevillle on social mobility in nineteenthcentury America, and Darwin on ethics. Das thus creates a complex study of the internal and interpersonal conicts that dene human life. The wide-ranging nature of this book complicates the identity of its audience, but the authors vivid narrations of the epics scenes and characters and his practical connections make this book accessible to a general audience and a lively companion to a study of the epic on any level. Michael Baltutis University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

INDIAN FEMALE GURUS IN CONTEMPORARY HINDUISM: A STUDY OF CENTRAL ASPECTS AND EXPRESSIONS OF THEIR RELIGIOUS LEADERSHIP. By Marie-Therese Charpentier. Abo, Finland: Abo
Akademi University Press, 2010. Pp. 395. Paper, 42.95. This book is a doctoral dissertation that has not been revised for publication to any signicant extent. It therefore rather dryly moves forward in a very predictable but systematic fashion. The result is a study of seventy female gurus in India, with a particular focus on four of them. According to Charpentier, while it is tempting to seek out similarities among such a diverse assemblage of personalities, it is better to look at the factors that make them distinct. She thus notices that there is a variety of ascetic forms that characterize the practices of women in the Hindu guru enterprise. She explains this diversity by recognizing the broadmindedness and exibility of Indian monastic practices, given that the subcontinent is the repository of such traditions as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It is no surprise, then, to read in her conclusion that this juncture of different religious traditions has resulted in a heterogeneous landscape of female gurus that is characterized by huge disparities in age, geographical and social backgrounds, marital status, level of education, etc. Although the conclusions are not surprising to anyone who has spent any time in India

THE SPIRIT OF HINDU LAW. By Donald R. Davis, Jr. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Pp. x + 194. $89.00. Written for students of Indology, religion, and law, The Spirit of Hindu Law is a much-needed fresh introduction. The book is succinct yet inclusive of both the ne points of Hindu law and larger issues of meaning as the chapter headings show: Sources and Theologies, Hermeneutics and Ethics, Debt and Meaning, Persons and Things, Doubts and Disputes, Rectitude and Rehabilitation, and Law and Practice. The chapters not only cover important details but also reference relevant Sanskrit texts and Indological and jurisprudential literature in copious notes. Davis is also willing to pose larger questions of meaning. As the title suggests, there
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are echoes of St. Paul and Hegel here because the authors of Dharmasastra themselves view the Veda as a quasi-Hegelian Spirit that guided and restrained the forward movement of humanity through history. Law happens in the detail, but Dharmasastra attends also to its spirit and higher value. Indeed, law is the theology of everyday life that discloses its larger signicance. This valuable book possesses an intellectual framework deserving of attention in comparative legal and theological studies. Coupled with the recent Hinduism and Law (2010, coedited by Davis, T. Lubin, and J. Krishnan), this book will serve as a portal to the Hindu law traditions for decades to come. Francis X. Clooney, SJ Harvard University

THE RISE OF A FOLK GOD: VITTHAL OF PANDHARPUR. By Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere. Translated
by Anne Feldhaus. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Pp. xvii + 350; plates, maps. $74.00. The original title of Dheres book in Marathi literally means Vitthal: A Single Conuence. This title aptly describes a study that traces the myriad texts and practices that have converged on the gure of a single deity in the village of Pandharpur in Western India. Vitthal is something of a puzzle that has been central to the study of the religious life of the region for over a century: both Shaiva and Vaishnava, folk god and gure of philosophical rumination, Vitthal is remembered in text and performance in both high culture and popular culture. Dhere is a key gure in unraveling the mysteries of Vitthal and addresses such issues as Vitthals original form, his relationship to hero worship and pastoralist/folk worship, the way in which a depiction of Shiva (as Pundalik) in Pandharpur became Vaishnavized through a Krishna-ite popular inuence, and the absorption of Buddha into Vitthals remembrance. Dhere uses Sanskrit and Marathi texts (among others) alongside his own folkethnographic encounters in the region to provide a truly multidisciplinary approach. It is hard to imagine that anyone other than Feldhaus could have translated Dheres book so skillfully. Feldhaus is a master of this kind of rigorous multidisciplinary approach, and Dheres work in English should be read alongside her own inspired work. This book offers a dazzling display of historical and ethnographic detective work, and is recommended for anyone interested in the kaleidoscope of sources and inuences that often converge on religious gures of South Asia. Christian Lee Novetzke University of Washington

In this book, Edelmann postulates Hinduisms lack of engagement with Western modernity and, particularly, science. He seeks to develop a theological dialogue between Hinduism and biology, especially Darwinism, while observing their respective conceptual frameworks. Edelmanns focus, however, on the Bhagavatapurana, with an evident neo-Caitanyite perspective and the quasi-monotheistic use of God, does not do justice to the multifaceted character of Hinduism and is reminiscent of ISKCON stances. Although the author discusses the problems associated with Hinduism, religion, science, theology, and similar expressions, this erudite work does not pay consistent attention to the concomitant conceptual difculties. According to Edel mann, the Bhagavatapurana and modern science show similar argumentative approaches despite their different objectives and their varying reasons for dealing with the natural world, and this makes a dialogue between their adherents, and also Christian theologians, possible and fruitful. This seems, though, primarily the view of the believer seeking to incorporate modern science (Hearing and studying biological theory then becomes a devotional enterprise); why scientists without theistic interests should engage in such dialogue remains unclear. Further, this approach seems geared to Western concerns; the question of relevance for the mass of Hindus, particularly those not depending upon any specic authoritative text or scholastic tradition, remains unasked. This book must be taken seriously, however, as an example of showing how a text that many Hindus regard as authoritative can be sounded in relation to a signicant contemporary discourse. Rahul Peter Das Martin-Luther-Universitt Halle-Wittenberg, Halle

VISUALIZED TEXTS: SACRED SPACES, SPATIAL TEXTS AND THE RELIGIOUS CARTOGRAPHY OF BANARAS. By Jrg Gengnagel. Ethno-Indology: Heidelberg
Studies in South Asian Rituals, 7. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2011. Pp. 358; plates, maps. 52.00. Part of a series of works combining ethnography and Indology, this book falls heavily into the latter category and, in doing so, makes a resounding impact. In this work, Gengnagel has signicantly advanced our historical and spatial understandings of Banaras, i.e., Varanas or Kas, through a focus on maps, the Kasdarpana in particular. The carto graphic reection on Banaras is deepened with color plates and extensive appendices that, together, take up nearly half of the volumes pages. In addition to the book, the author has produced a remarkable website: http://kjc-fs2.kjc.uniheidelberg.de/evaluation/Gengnagel04/PeTAL/content/ V47631.html. In hyperlinked close-ups of sections of the map of Banaras, the occasionally obscure spatial explication of the Kasdarpana from the book is beautifully animated; these two resources should be read together. The major service of the volume is its authoritatively rendered exegesis and interpretation of the maps, which catapults important

HINDU THEOLOGY AND BIOLOGY: THE GAVATA PURA NA AND CONTEMPORARY BHA THEORY. By Jonathan B. Edelmann. Oxford Theological
Monographs. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. xix + 251. 70.00; $135.00.

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but otherwise obscure historical sources into the realm of mainstream accessibility, for both research and teaching purposes. Yet Gengnagels analysis of the primary sources is rather thin. One senses that signicantly more hermeneutic mileage could be gained from these data than what is presented in the very brief concluding section (only six pages). Although this is not, in itself, a fault, it suggests that more contributions from the data presented here are perhaps forthcoming. And although this monograph is not likely to be adopted widely in undergraduate curricula, it is an essential contribution to the literature on Banaras and thus belongs in every university library with a reputable South Asia collection. Andrea Marion Pinkney National University of Singapore

THE SECRET SANKARA: ON MULTIVOCALITY AND TRUTH IN SANKARAS TEACHING. By Yohanan


Grinshpon. Jerusalem Studies in Religion and Culture, 12. Boston: Brill, 2011. Pp. xvii + 175. $123.00. In this insightful, creative, and provocative study of an eighth-century Indian philosopher and his commentary on the Brahma Sutras, the author presents a thinker who is a playful writer, an artist who is driven by wonder and doubt, a free thinker, a great scholar, and a seeker of the truth. Grinshpon calls attention to various voices (the author, the siddhantin, and the purva-paksin) in Sankaras dialogical commentary that are characterized as interconnected and unied. Some readers will agree with the author when he claims that the Indian philosopher weaves together these three voices in his commentary, whereas others will take exception to this characterization of Sankara, instead viewing him as standing apart from the voices with which he plays. Sankaras secret teaching, according to Grinshpon, is his viveka-experience, a realization or vision of nonreductive difference between seer and seen, representing separation and distinction. This is a double state of consciousness reected by the recognition of oneself as an atman (self) that is devoid of objective reality. This leads Grinshpon to con clude that Sankara is a Viveka-Vedantin and not an Advaitin (nondual) thinker. Grinshpon retracts his reference to Sankaras secret later in the book to claim that it is closer to a mode of consciousness that is difcult to express. Those interested in Indian philosophy will enjoy reading this new interpretation of a seminal philosopher in the history of India. Carl Olson Allegheny College

historically informative yet conceptually well dened. In both cases, Guptas volume strives for a happy medium. She organizes her chapters according to philosophical perspectives or schools while providing enough historical grounding to allow for a basic sense of chronology and context. The bulk of each chapter consists of clear summaries of philosophical positions and argumentation, and Gupta is sensitive to the kinds of concerns held by present-day students of philosophy. She adds appendices to each chapter with translations of primary texts, allowing students the opportunity to engage with some source materials directly. One benet of the text is a chapter on modern Indian thinkers. The volume could have used better editing: there are a number of infelicitous translations and some mistakes (e.g., she conates the very different philosophers Madhva and Madhava). Also, Gupta occasionally makes denitive claims regarding fundamental matters of doctrine without indicating that the issue in question was hotly disputed by the classical thinkers. While this book does not conclusively solve the textbook problem for Indian philosophy coursesperhaps nothing willit does emerge as a strong candidate for those who wish to read or teach from a single accessible text. Matthew R. Dasti Bridgewater State University

TRANSFORMATIONS AND TRANSFER OF TANTRA IN ASIA AND BEYOND. Edited by Istvn Keul. Religion
and Society, 52. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2012. Pp. ix + 531. $168.00. This intriguing volume offers a pastiche of articles of varyingbut overall goodquality, each addressing one or another of the dual themes of change and transmission in the history of tantra. Based primarily on the proceedings of a conference hosted in December 2008 at the Freie Universitt Berlin, the volumes nineteen essays are organized geographically in four groups: 1) South Asia; 2) Mongolia, Tibet, and China; 3) Japan; and 4) Beyond (the nal section dealing primarily with tantra in the West). The exibility of the selected themes invites the examination of a range of topics: the diachronic development of selected tantric traditions; the adaptation of particular deities, ideas, and practices to new historical and/or political contexts; religious change as tantra is adapted to new geographic and cultural areas; and the transformation of the scholarly understanding of tantra via engagement of diverse methodologies. In embracing diversity, the volume presents an overarching argument for an inclusive approachgeographically, historically, and methodologicallyto the broad, transdisciplinary eld of tantric studies. This approach is, of course, justied by the historical range and varied legacies of the tantric traditions themselves, yet one suspects that most tantricstudies scholarsthe likely audience for this volumewill read selectively and on the basis of individual concerns. This is perhaps justiable given the wide scope of the book, but one hopes that the accumulation of these assorted essays in

AN INTRODUCTION TO INDIAN PHILOSOPHY: PERSPECTIVES ON REALITY, KNOWLEDGE, AND FREEDOM. By Bina Gupta. New York: Routledge, 2012.
Pp xiii + 343. Cloth, $115.00; paper, $36.95. It is very difcult to nd a single introductory textbook to Indian philosophy that is accessible yet thorough and

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a single volume will also cultivate the sort of crosspollination the editor envisions. John Nemec University of Virginia

CONTRADICTORY LIVES: BAUL WOMEN IN INDIA AND BANGLADESH. By Lisa L. Knight. New York: Oxford
University Press, 2011. Pp. vii + 217. $74.00. This book is an ethnography of the lives and personal cultures of women in Baul communities. The Bauls constitute a socially nonconformist and marginal occupational group whose craft is public performances of spiritually oriented song. They make their livings variably, some even by farming or begging. Today, attending Baul performances is fashionable among the bhadralok, but otherwise their customs are disapproved. However, one of the main themes of this study is that generalizing about these people is rather futile: they can be renouncers or not, householders or not, tantrics or not. Women Bauls lead lives with agency, along a broad continuum of decisions that include being wives, mothers with children, or renouncers of household life while simultaneously performing in public and having no xed abode. Previous scholarship has focused mostly on male Bauls. The author brings together and discusses a broad range of scholarship while adding a wealth of new information derived from her disciplined focus on women subjects. Central points worked out in detail are that Baul women are doubly challenged socially: as Bauls and as women. Knight shows how they struggle and often succeed in maintaining personal autonomy and self-respect despite gender limitations. The author is meticulous in her eld techniques, aided by her control of the Bengali language. This study adds great value to the scholarship on Bengali women. Joanna Kirkpatrick Bennington College

interpretations through marshalling a signicant body of textual evidence (again, recalling an approach seen often in Olivelles own work). Although there is a certain unity to the volume in its overall approach to identity, the essays admit to a great variety in the subject matter they treat (and this variety is itself one of the great strengths of the volume), including historical, linguistic, as well as comparative studies, examining materialsfrom ancient to modern drawn from the Hindu, Su, Jain, Buddhist, Judaic, and Manichaean traditions. The volume is well edited, and the strength of its essays shows it to be more than merely a tribute to a great scholar. Graduate students and advanced undergraduates will prot from individual essays; working scholars will nd that there are still great riches to be found in the exploration of seemingly well-known texts from ancient India. Herman Tull Princeton, NJ

RELIGION AND IDENTITY IN SOUTH ASIA AND BEYOND: ESSAYS IN HONOR OF PATRICK OLIVELLE. Edited by Steven E. Lindquist. Cultural, Historical and Textual Studies of Religions. New York: Anthem Press, 2011. Pp. 392. $99.00. This volume of sixteen essays not only honors Olivelle but also attests to his deep inuence over the contemporary eld of South Asian studies (many of the contributors to this volume are Olivelles former students and together they constitute a signicant fraction of American academic Indologists). Half of the essays develop more or less directly from Olivelles extensive body of textual work on the Hindu law books (dharmasastra) and the Upanisads (an undertaking that revisits some of the rst texts to be explored by Western Indologists), while others build on the themes that dominate Olivelles scholarship in general: sacrice, asceticism, and the interrelation of language and literature in ancient India. Notable throughout the collection is the inclination to revisit views set forth in earlier scholarship and to devise fresh

WOMEN MYSTICS AND SUFI SHRINES IN INDIA. By Kelly Pemberton. Studies in Comparative Religion. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. Pp. xi + 233. $59.95. This well-researched book examines the participation of contemporary Muslim women in Su shrines across northern India. Pembertons main argument is that this participation both challenges and sustains ideals of womanhood in Islam. Her work seeks to ll a gap in current research on women, shrines, and Sus in South Asia with a particular focus on their lived experiences. Having spent a signicant amount of time in their milieu, Pemberton reveals that the saint veneration she encountered in Bihar Sharif and Maner (both in the state of Bihar) was different from practices described elsewhere. In this context, she argues that a key component to understanding womens Su practice lies in the other shrines surrounding, but separate from, the dargah or burial shrine. In four detailed chapters, Pemberton illustrates the ways in which Muslim women not only engage in ritual, but are the specialists, even going so far as to mediate the powers of the saint. Arguing against colonialera discourses and building on the work of scholars such as C. Ernst, B. Lawrence, P. Werbner, and C. Liebeskind, the author provides a balanced perspective of Su practice by women in North India. Highly recommended for all college libraries. Carole Barnsley Transylvania University DISENCHANTING INDIA: ORGANIZED RATIONALISM AND CRITICISM OF RELIGION IN INDIA. By
Johannes Quack. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. xvii + 362. $39.95. This book dispels the notion that India is a land only of religious people and devoid of rationalists. By focusing on one specic group in Maharashtra known as the Supersti-

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tion Eradication Society, the author denitively shows that there are a variety of perspectives in India, including freethinking, atheism, and secular humanism. Continuously drawing the readers attention to the ancient roots of materialism and rationalism in Hindu philosophical schools of thought, Quack is able to demonstrate how rationalism in India is not something new simply brought about by colonialism or modernity. Instead, it is a time-honored tradition that, while not as widespread as religious modes of thinking, is certainly something that has always been a factor in the formation of Indian society as we know it today. As rationalism is a minority opinion in India, however, the society upon which he focuses is not widely accepted in the mainstream. Quack therefore explores the ambiguous role of such groups within the context of contemporary social thought. This book will be valuable for survey courses on contemporary Indian thought, as well as courses on the history of Asian philosophy. Moreover, it will also be valuable to anthropologists interested in the role that intellectual movements play in bringing about social change. It is certainly a volume worth having in any research library boasting a signicant South Asian collection. Frank J. Korom Boston University

Bhagavata Purana, the text of nal resort for the Vallabha ya. Despite these limitations, the book is a samprada welcome addition to the increasing number of books on European writing on India in the centuries before the establishment of colonial rule. Will Sweetman University of Otago

JAINA STUDIES: PROCEEDINGS OF DOT 2010 IN MARBURG, GERMANY. Edited by Jayandra Soni. New
York: Aditya Prakashan, 2012. Pp. x + 221; illustrations. Rs. 875.00. This volume consists of ten papers from the rst-ever panel on Jaina Studies at the triennial Deutsche Orientalistentag, or German Oriental Studies Congress, at its thirtyrst meeting in 2010. Two essays deal with important historical laymen: T. Pheru, a Jain assayer at the fourteenth century mint of the Khalj Sultans; and K. Vacchavat, a sixteenth-century Oswal merchant and political minister, active in Akbars court in Lahore, whose family for generations had supported the Kharatara Gaccha lineage of Svetambara monks. Four essays address Jaina epistemology, including the doctrines of syadvada and anekantavada from a Buddhist perspective; a Jaina critique of Vaisesika; Jaina conceptions of erroneous cognition; and an argument that syadvada is not meant to apply to the Jinas omniscience. One essay looks at the development of the havel style of Jaina temple architecture in late-medieval north India. Three essays explore literary topics: a drama included in Slankas ninth-century Prakrit novel Caupannamahapurisacariya; ways that the c. fth-century Prakrit Vasudevahind of Sanghadasa used material from the Brhatkatha to relay edifying stories and the Jaina universal history; and Jinabhadras fth- to sixth-century cosmological treatise Brhatsamgrahan together with the commentary on it by the twelfth-century Malayagiri. These specialist studies represent the nest of European (with one Japanese addition) Jainological scholarship, and the volume belongs in all research libraries. John E. Cort Denison University

THE LIMITS OF ORIENTALISM: SEVENTEENTHCENTURY REPRESENTATIONS OF INDIA. By Rahul


Sapra. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2011. Pp. 219. $65.00. Sapra begins by surveying the literature responding to Saids Orientalism, siding with A. Ahmad and D. Porter in rejecting the model of binary opposition between the East and the West and arguing that we cannot speak of a single European tradition of representing India. Sapra contrasts the Portuguese interest in conquest and conversion with the primarily commercial considerations that underpinned the Dutch and, especially, the English enterprises in the seventeenth century. The next two chapters, however, deal almost exclusively with English accounts of the Mughals, Hindus, and Parsis. A fth chapter returns to the Mughals in English and French travel writing from the later seventeenth century, here contrasting the representation of the emperor in Bernier and in Drydens Aureng-Zebe. Sapras exclusive and unremarked reliance on sources translated into English somewhat attens his account of differences among European representations. Likewise, although he rightly points out that European accounts discriminate between different groups in Indiaespecially between Muslims and othersSapras evaluation of some English accounts reveals his own rather monolithic conception of Indian religions. Thus, he faults H. Lords 1630 account of a Hindu creation myth because it differs from that found in Manu, although, like much else in Hindu religion, creation myths are multiple. Lord, probably basing his account on an informant from the Vallabha tradition, in fact follows reasonably closely a creation myth from the

tion and Commentary by Archana Venkatesan. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. xiv + 262. Cloth, $99.00; paper, $27.00. The poems translated here were composed by Kotai, a South Indian woman more commonly known as Antal, most likely in the ninth century. Although short Tiruppavai consists of just thirty verses of eight lines and Nacciyar Tirumol i of fourteen songs in decads of four to eight linesthey are widely known and remain a central part of the ritual and aesthetic life of Tamil Hindus. Both have been translated into English before, Tiruppavai

THE SECRET GARLAND: ANTALS TIRUPPA VAI CCIYA R TIRUMOLI. Translated with Introduc AND NA

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several times. Venkatesans translation attempts to convey the richness of the original by leaving key Tamil terms and phrases untranslated. She provides both a glossary and longer explorations of the semantic range of the more important terms in copious notes. The introduction and the notesgenerally a couple of pages for each verse of Tiruppavai and for each decad of Nacciyar Tirumol ioffer both a traditional and a modern scholarly view of the poems. Venkatesan makes good use of the Srvaisnava commentarial tradition but also places Antal within earlier Tamil poetry as well as modern South Indian repertoires of music and dance. In the appendices, the author discusses the laudatory verses later attached to the poems, summarizes the major myths referred to, and indexes the occurrences of both names and episodes from these myths in Antals work. Some of this replicates the work of an earlier translator of the poems, V. Dehejia, but in every area Venkatesan provides greater detail. It is hard to imagine a better introduction to Antal and her poetry. Will Sweetman University of Otago

East Asia
BEYOND THE DAO DE JING: TWOFOLD MYSTERY IN TANG DAOISM. By Friederike Assandri. Magdalena,
NM: Three Pines Press, 2009. Pp. 250. Paper, $29.95. Rarely does one encounter any scholarly book for which it can be said that the critical praise quoted on the back cover is fully justied. This is such a book despite the sadly misleading title and the grossly ill-conceived index (which provides no simple way to trace any proper name or title and uselessly lists some as merely passim). The subject matter is the content of texts from the early Tang dynasty that have come to be regarded as a school called Twofold Mystery (Chongxuan). Assandri argues that its most salient feature is a creative use of a technique of reasoningthe tetralemma of the Indian Madhyamika thinker Nagarjuna. Yet it relied on a distinctively Daoist worldview, starting with the premise that the indenable Dao was ontological substrate and origin of beingideas familiar to Sinologists from the Dark Learning (Xuanxue/Hsan-hseh) school of such third-century thinkers as Wang Bi (long known as NeoTaoists). Thanks to contributions by European scholars of the 1980s like I. Robinet and L. Kohn (publisher of Three Pines Press), Assandri can show readers today the depth and diversity of Taoist thought among such early seventhcentury thinkers as L. Rong (. 658-83) and C. Xuanying (. 632-50); contemporary texts such as the Huming jing (Scripture of Saving Life); and such eighth-century texts as the Benji jing (Scripture on Original Time)parts or all of which are translated in appendices. Assandri thoughtfully explores the multi-faceted philosophical interaction of Tang Buddhists and Daoists in a concrete and documented historical environment, and all scholars of Chinese Thought or Religion should read her careful analyses. But any serious student will not only be vexed by an inability to nd key data, but will labor with difculty to understand the issues without plowing through the entire book and making ones own references. Russell Kirkland University of Georgia

YOGA IN PRACTICE. Edited by David Gordon White. Princeton Readings in Religions. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012. Pp. xii + 397. Cloth, $85.00; paper, $29.95. Is yoga one or many? Continuous or discontinuous? Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Muslim, or New Age? The answer in this new reader is yes. Like others in the series, this book de-emphasizes elite philosophical expression in favor of a wider range of religious practice and history. Each chronological selection begins with a substantial introduction that contextualizes and explains it. The table of contents is organized by chronology, tradition, or country; there is also a useful glossary and index. White, known for his previous books on Tantra, aims to disorient and reorient the modern student of yoga, likely overly inuenced by a simplied account taught in the popular postural yoga training that today reaches tens of millions. To correct the record, White has marshaled an impressive list of scholars of yoga, both established and new, and a variety of translated texts, many of which are unavailable elsewhere. Both yoga scholars and students will nd this compilation useful, both for its range and its new insights. However, in terms of classical yoga, Patajali is reduced to commentary on just ten sutras; yoga verses culled from the Bhagavadgta come to seven pages, and yoga in the traditional Upanisads goes unrepresented. In tune with his interest in Tantra and the latest trends in yoga scholarship, Enlightenment and Hindu Renaissance notwithstanding, White recognizes the key role of the supernatural in the history of yogic theory and practice. For upperlevel undergraduates, graduate students, and intellectual practitioners desiring to engage the true variety of yoga, this dense and disparate collection is indispensable. Lloyd W. Pueger Truman State University
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THE PEOPLE AND THE DAO: NEW STUDIES IN CHINESE RELIGIONS IN HONOUR OF DANIEL L. OVERMYER. Edited by Philip Clart and Paul Crowe. Sankt
Augustin, Germany: Institut Monumenta Serica, 2009. Pp. 542. Out of print. This volume is a true Festschrift in the European tradition. Both the editors and several of the contributors earned their doctorates under Overmyer, whose Contribution to the Study of Chinese Religions is the subject of A Critical Review here by another Overmyer product, R. Nadeau. Clarts introduction explains thematic continuities among the sixteen contributions, all of which are sound scholarly studies. Part I comprises six studies of one of Overmyers favorite topics, Popular Sects and Religious Movements in Late-Imperial China and living communities of Overseas