Tantra

Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religion

Hugh B. Urban

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University of California Press img Link Publisher

Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Religion/Theologie

Beschreibung

A complex body of religious practices that spread throughout the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain traditions; a form of spirituality that seemingly combines sexuality, sensual pleasure, and the full range of physical experience with the religious life—Tantra has held a central yet conflicted role within the Western imagination ever since the first "discovery" of Indian religions by European scholars. Always radical, always extremely Other, Tantra has proven a key factor in the imagining of India. This book offers a critical account of how the phenomenon has come to be.

Tracing the complex genealogy of Tantra as a category within the history of religions, Hugh B. Urban reveals how it has been formed through the interplay of popular and scholarly imaginations. Tantra emerges as a product of mirroring and misrepresentation at work between East and West--a dialectical category born out of the ongoing play between Western and Indian minds. Combining historical detail, textual analysis, popular cultural phenomena, and critical theory, this book shows Tantra as a shifting amalgam of fantasies, fears, and wish-fulfillment, at once native and Other, that strikes at the very heart of our constructions of the exotic Orient and the contemporary West.

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Schlagwörter

cultural phenomena, religious practices, sex, western thought, contemporary religion, faith and spirituality, buddhism, religious lives, political power, east and west, india, physical experiences, buddhist tradition, european scholars, sensuality, critical theory, comparative religion, religious secrecy, western world, world religions, jainism, eastern philosophy, sexuality, religious studies, sexual politics, hinduism, nonfiction, anthropology, tantra, indian religions