177 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Indian Religions with their New Books
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New Books in Indian Religions Marshall Poe

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 3.6 • 12 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Indian Religions with their New Books
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    A Conversation with Greg Bailey: Sanskrit Scholar and Novelist

    A Conversation with Greg Bailey: Sanskrit Scholar and Novelist

    This interview features a candid conversation with Greg Bailey, seasoned scholar of Sanskrit narrative Literature, on his multi-decade work on the Purāṇas and Mahābhārata, and on his new novel In Search of Bliss: A Tale of Early Buddhism (Vanguard Press, 2019).
    About the novel: Kshemapala is a monk from the North who has been tasked with an important scholarly mission: fill in the gaps in the history of the monk, Ananda, the Buddha's close companion, about whom there are legends but few facts. To achieve this he must journey south, towards the source of many of the stories and also towards experiences which will challenge his perception of his practice and of himself. Highly trained in Buddhist meditation techniques and detachment, he must take in and study the evidence, and understand the behaviour and choices of a monk from the past who seems to have done things rather differently. Along the way, Kshemapala is assisted by old and new acquaintances and teachers, and thrown into peril by his confrontation with the supernatural, despite his years of discipline. He is challenged mentally, physically and metaphysically, all of which lead him to consider his own direction.
    Raj Balkaran is a scholar, educator, consultant, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.
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    • 55 min
    Shankar Nair, "Translating Wisdom: Hindu-Muslim Intellectual Interactions in Early Modern South Asia" (U California Press, 2020)

    Shankar Nair, "Translating Wisdom: Hindu-Muslim Intellectual Interactions in Early Modern South Asia" (U California Press, 2020)

    During the height of Muslim power in Mughal South Asia, Hindu and Muslim scholars worked collaboratively to translate a large body of Hindu Sanskrit texts into the Persian language. Translating Wisdom reconstructs the intellectual processes and exchanges that underlay these translations. Using as a case study the 1597 Persian rendition of the Yoga-Vasistha—an influential Sanskrit philosophical tale whose popularity stretched across the subcontinent—Shankar Nair illustrates how these early modern Muslim and Hindu scholars drew upon their respective religious, philosophical, and literary traditions to forge a common vocabulary through which to understand one another. These scholars thus achieved, Nair argues, a nuanced cultural exchange and interreligious and cross-philosophical dialogue significant not only to South Asia’s past but also its present.
    This interview is one of 3 interviews related to an upcoming American Academy of Religion "New Books in Hindu Studies" academic panel. The panel discusses Translating Wisdom: Hindu-Muslim Intellectual Interactions in Early Modern South Asia (University of California Press, 2020) in tandem with Patton Burchett's A Genealogy of Devotion. Patton's interview can be accessed here.
    Translating Wisdom is available open access here. 
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    Anya P. Foxen and Christa Kuberry, "Is this Yoga?: Concepts, Histories, and the Complexities of Modern Practice" (Routledge, 2021)

    Anya P. Foxen and Christa Kuberry, "Is this Yoga?: Concepts, Histories, and the Complexities of Modern Practice" (Routledge, 2021)

    This book provides a rigorously researched, critically comparative introduction to yoga. Anya P. Foxen and Christa Kuberry's Is this Yoga?: Concepts, Histories, and the Complexities of Modern Practice (Routledge, 2021) recognizes the importance of contemporary understandings of yoga and, at the same time, provides historical context and complexity to modern and pre-modern definitions of yogic ideas and practices. Approaching yoga as a vast web of concepts, traditions, social interests, and embodied practices, it raises questions of knowledge, identity, and power across time and space, including the dynamics of "East" and "West." The text is divided into three main sections: thematic concepts; histories; and topics in modern practice. This accessible guide is essential reading for undergraduate students approaching the topic for the first time, as well as yoga teachers, teacher training programs, casual and devoted practitioners, and interested non-practitioners.
    Raj Balkaran is a scholar, educator, consultant, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.
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    • 44 min
    Megan Eaton Robb, "Print and the Urdu Public: Muslims, Newspapers, and Urban Life in Colonial India" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Megan Eaton Robb, "Print and the Urdu Public: Muslims, Newspapers, and Urban Life in Colonial India" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    In early twentieth century British India, prior to the arrival of digital medias and after the rise of nationalist political movements, a small-town paper from the margins of society became a key player in Urdu journalism. Published in the isolated market town of Bijnor, Madinah grew to hold influence across North India and the Punjab while navigating complex issues of religious and political identity. 
    In Print and the Urdu Public: Muslims, Newspapers, and Urban Life in Colonial India (Oxford UP, 2020), Megan Robb uses the previously unexamined perspective of the Madinah to consider Urdu print publics and urban life in South Asia. Through a discursive and material analysis of Madinah, the book explores how Muslims who had settled in ancestral qasbahs, or small towns, used newspapers to facilitate a new public consciousness. The book demonstrates how Madinah connected the Urdu newspaper conversation both explicitly and implicitly with Muslim identity and delineated the boundaries of a Muslim public conversation in a way that emphasized rootedness to local politics and small urban spaces. The case study of this influential but understudied newspaper reveals how a network of journalists with substantial ties to qasbahs produced a discourse self-consciously alternative to the Western-influenced, secularized cities. Megan Robb augments the analysis with evidence from contemporary Urdu, English, and Hindi papers, government records, private diaries, private library holdings, ethnographic interviews, and training materials for newspaper printers. This thoroughly researched volume recovers the erasure of qasbah voices and proclaims the importance of space and time in definitions of the public sphere in South Asia. Print and the Urdu Public demonstrates how an Urdu newspaper published from the margins became central to the Muslim public constituted in the first half of the twentieth century.
    Raj Balkaran is a scholar, educator, consultant, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.
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    • 48 min
    Zoë Slatoff, "Yogavataranam: The Translation of Yoga" (North Point Press, 2015)

    Zoë Slatoff, "Yogavataranam: The Translation of Yoga" (North Point Press, 2015)

    The traditional Indian method of learning Sanskrit is through oral transmission, by first memorizing texts and then learning their meaning. The Western academic approach methodically teaches the alphabet, declensions, grammar, syntax, and vocabulary building. Zoë Slatoff's Yogavataranam integrates the traditional and academic approaches for a full and practical experience of Sanskrit study. Yogavataranam: The Translation of Yoga (North Point Press, 2015) approaches language systematically and at the same time allows students to read important and relevant texts as soon as possible, while emphasizing proper pronunciation through its audio accompaniment. This new approach joins theory and practice to invoke an active experience of the philosophy, the practice, and the culture that together inform the multiplicity of meanings contained within the single and powerful word "yoga." By the way, you can study Sanskrit with Zoë.
    Raj Balkaran is a scholar, educator, consultant, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.
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    • 40 min
    Ben Williams on Contemplative Education

    Ben Williams on Contemplative Education

    Is it possible to integrate scholarly study with contemplative practice? What are the benefits and potential pitfalls of doing so? Join us as we speak to Dr. Ben William about Naropa University’s vision of Contemplative Education along with their brand-new Masters in Yoga Studies program.
    Raj Balkaran is a scholar, educator, consultant, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.
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    • 57 min

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12 Ratings

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