- AUTHOR: Françoise Mallison
- HB ISBN : 978-93-5290-965-0
- Year : 2019
- Extent : 332
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The 22 essays in this volume, written between 1974 and 2010, deal with the religious history and culture of Gujarat. The first part of this book focuses on Gujarati devotional literature: Vaiṣṇava pad-bhajan, Vallabhite dhoḷ, Sant-vāṇī Ismā’īlī Ginān, Ciśtī Gujarati bhajan, all with textual and thematic convergences. The second part analyses stories of saints and sacred places. Their constructions are in no way authentic historical accounts, but they provide a vivid picture of the time and society that produced them.
The focus of these essays is more on an explortation of popular religions (lok-dharma) mainly in Saurashtra and Kutch, both in their oral and written transmission. Gujarat has a rich variety of religious currents (all of which are not treated here; some are merely evoked, e.g. Jainism, Devi cult, and Parsis). They are reflected in literary sources and local observation and they demonstrate Gujarat’s capacity to promote a regional culture nourished by a multiplicity of religions.
Françoise Mallison, Directeur d’Études Emeritus at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Études, Section des Sciences historiques et Philologiques, Paris, specializes in the medieval religious culture of northern India and Gujarat. She studies the devotional literature of Vaiṣṇavas, Sants, and Muslims in Gujarati language, and has published translations of Narsiṃha Mahetā and the lyrics of Swaminarayan as well as on articles on Ismā’īlī vernacular poetry. She has written Au point du jour: Les Prabhātiyāṃ de Narasiṃha Mahetā (1987), and co-edited (with Diana L. Eck) Devotion Divine: Bhakti Traditions from Regions of India, Studies in Honour of Charlotte Vaudeville (1991) and (with Tazim R. Kassam) Gināns: Texts and Contexts, Essays on Ismaili Hymns of Soiuth Asia in Honour of Zawahir Moir (2010).