Cover image for Self and self-transformation in the history of religions
Self and self-transformation in the history of religions
Shulman, David Dean, 1949-
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
xii, 268 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Introduction: Persons, passages, and shifting cultural space / David Shulman and Guy G. Stroumsa -- A body made of words and poetic meters / Charles Malamoud -- On becoming a fish: paradoxes of immortality and enlightenment in Chinese literature / Wai-yee Li -- Transformations of subjectivity and memory in the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa / Wendy Doniger -- Madness and divinization in early Christian monasticism / Guy G. Stroumsa -- Possessed transsexuals in antiquity: a double transformation / Cristiano Grottanelli -- Madness and suffering in the myths of Hercules / Hildegard Cancik-Lindemaier -- Healing as an act of transformation / Shaul Shaked -- Tirukkovaiyār: downstream into God / David Shulman -- Spirit possession as self-transformative experience in late medieval Catholic Europe / Moshe Sluhovsky -- Religion and biography in Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus / Margalit Finkelberg -- The ins and outs of self-transformation: personal and social sides of visionary practice in Tibetan Buddhism / Janet Gyatso -- The self and its transformation in Ṣūfīsm: with special reference to early literature / Sara Sviri -- From Platonic to Hasidic Eros: transformations of an idle man's story / Moshe Idel -- Postlude: the interior sociality of self-transformation / Don Handelman.
Reading Level:
1460 Lexile.
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
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Home Location
Item Holds
BL80.2 .T69 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This book brings together scholars of a variety of the world's major civilizations to focus on the universal theme of inner transformation. The idea of the "self" is a cultural formation like any other, and models and conceptions of the inner world of the person vary widely from onecivilization to another. Nonetheless, all the world's great religions insist on the need to transform this inner world, however it is understood, in highly expressive and specific ways. Such transformations, often ritually enacted, reveal the primary intuitions, drives, and conflicts active withinthe culture. The individual essays--by such distinguished scholars as Wai-yee Li, Janet Gyatso, Wendy Doniger, Christiano Grottanelli, Charles Malamoud, Margalit Finkelberg, and Moshe Idel--study dramatic examples of these processes in a wide range of cultures, including China, India, Tibet, Greeceand Rome, Late Antiquity, Islam, Judaism, and medieval and early-modern Christian Europe.

Author Notes

David Shulman and Guy S. Stroumsa are both at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Table of Contents

Contributorsp. xi
Self and Self-Transformation in the History of Religionsp. 2
1 Persons, Passages, and Shifting Cultural Spacep. 3
Notesp. 15
Bibliographyp. 16
I Alternative Economies of the Selfp. 18
2 A Body Made of Words and Poetic Metersp. 19
Notesp. 26
Bibliographyp. 27
3 Paradoxes of Immortality and Enlightenment in Chinese Literaturep. 29
Notesp. 52
Bibliographyp. 54
4 Transformations of Subjectivity and Memory in the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāya&nbdot;ap. 57
Notesp. 70
Bibliographyp. 71
5 Madness and Divinization in Early Christian Monasticismp. 73
Notesp. 85
Bibliographyp. 87
II The Self Possessedp. 90
6 A Double Transformationp. 91
Notesp. 104
Bibliographyp. 105
7 Madness and Suffering in the Myths of Herculesp. 106
Notesp. 114
Bibliographyp. 119
8 Healing as an Act of Transformationp. 121
Notesp. 129
Bibliographyp. 130
9 Downstream into Godp. 131
Notesp. 147
Bibliographyp. 148
10 Spirit Possession as Self¡ Transformative Experience in Late Medieval Catholic Europep. 150
Notesp. 164
Bibliographyp. 166
11 Religion and Biography in Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonusp. 173
III Beyond the Selfp. 182
12 Personal and Social Sides of Visionary Practice in Tibetan Buddhismp. 183
Notesp. 193
Bibliographyp. 194
13 With Special Reference to Early Literaturep. 195
Notesp. 207
Bibliographyp. 211
14 Transformations of an Idle Man's Storyp. 216
Notesp. 231
Bibliographyp. 234
15 The Interior Sociality of Self-Transformationp. 236
Notesp. 249
Bibliographyp. 252
Indexp. 255