In this Book

Bringing the Gods to Mind
summary
This elegantly written book introduces a new perspective on Indic religious history by rethinking the role of mantra in Vedic ritual. In Bringing the Gods to Mind, Laurie Patton takes a new look at mantra as "performed poetry" and in five case studies draws a portrait of early Indian sacrifice that moves beyond the well-worn categories of "magic" and "magico-religious" thought in Vedic sacrifice. Treating Vedic mantra as a sophisticated form of artistic composition, she develops the idea of metonymy, or associational thought, as a major motivator for the use of mantra in sacrificial performance. Filling a long-standing gap in our understanding, her book provides a history of the Indian interpretive imagination and a study of the mental creativity and hermeneutic sophistication of Vedic religion.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xiii-xvi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-12
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  1. Part One: The Theories
  2. pp. 13-14
  1. 1. Poetry, Ritual, and Associational Thought in Early India: The Sources
  2. pp. 15-37
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  1. 2. Poetry, Ritual, and Associational Thought in Early India: The Theories
  2. pp. 38-58
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  1. 3. Viniyoga: The Recovery of a Hermeneutic Principle
  2. pp. 59-88
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  1. Part Two: The Case Studies
  2. pp. 89-90
  1. 4. Fire, Light, and Ingesting over Time
  2. pp. 91-116
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  1. 5. The Vedic “Other”: Spoilers of Success
  2. pp. 117-141
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  1. 6. A History of the Quest for Mental Power
  2. pp. 142-151
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  1. 7. The Poetics of Paths: Mantras of Journeys
  2. pp. 152-167
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  1. 8. A Short History of Heaven: From Making to Gaining the Highest Abode
  2. pp. 168-181
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  1. Conclusions: Laughter and the Creeper Mantra
  2. pp. 182-196
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 197-236
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 237-248
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 249-274
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  1. Index Locorum
  2. pp. 275-280
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  1. Index Nominum
  2. pp. 281-282
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  1. General Index
  2. pp. 283-289
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