Lives of Indian Images


Author: Richard H Davis
Publisher: Motilal Banarasidas, Delhi
(Pp 331, ISBN 9788120816923, Rs 695)

For many centuries, Hindus believe that the Gods they place in temples and those shrines for purposes of worship are alive. Hindu priests bring them to life through a complex ritual establishment that invokes the god or goddess into material support.

Priests and devotees then maintain the enlivened image as a divine person through ongoing liturgical activity. In this linked series of case studies of Hindu religious objects, the author Richard Davis argues that in some sense these believers are correct: through ongoing interactions with humans, religious objects are brought to life.

His observations are made largely on reader response literary theory and anthropological approaches to the study of objects in society in order to trace the biographies of Indian religious images over many centuries.

– Vasu V

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