The first volume of Collected Essays brings together research papers of Olivelle published over a period of about ten years. The unifying theme of these studies is the search for historical context and developments hidden within words and texts. Words and the cultural history represented by words that scholars often take for granted as having a continuous and long history are often new and even neologisms and thus provide important clues to cultural and religious innovations. Olivelle's book on the Âúramas, as well as the short pieces included in this volume, such as those on ânanda and dharma, seek to see cultural innovation and historical changes within the changing semantic fields of key terms. Closer examination of numerous Sanskrit terms taken for granted as central to Hinduism, provide similar results. Indian texts have often been studied in the past as disincarnate realities providing information on an ahistorical and unchanging culture. This volume is a small contribution towards correcting that method of textual study.
The University of Texas at Austin, United States
in the Catalogue