Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

There are many people without whom this book would not have been possible. Th e foremost of these is Bill Johnsen of Michigan State University, whom I met fortuitously at the American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting in Montréal in 2009 when the manuscript of the...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-42

India is the birthplace of the religious traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism. It has served as a pilgrimage place and source of spiritual renewal for Chinese monks in the fifth century, Tibetan royalty in the tenth century, and the Western counterculture since at least...

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Rivalries

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pp. 43-82

Rivalry is at the center of Girard’s work. Some would say that rivalry also characterizes Girard’s relationship to the rest of the academy. It also plays a central role in the mythology of the Brāhmaṇas, in which the gods and the demons are locked in a continuous struggle for supremacy...

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Priests and Kings, Oaths and Duels

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pp. 83-136

In the last chapter, we examined the rivalries outside (European scholars vs. Brahmin authors, France vs. England, philology vs. sociology) and inside (gods vs. demons) of the Brāhmaṇa narrative as received and interpreted by Girard. Now we will examine a new rivalry: that of the royal...

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Epic Variations on a Mimetic Theme

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pp. 137-180

The three epigraphs that begin this chapter give three diff erent perspectives on the figure of the śamitar, or śamitṛ, a ritual counterpart to mythical outsider figures like the Vrātya or Śunaḥśepa. The śamitar is not a priest, but a low-class ritual technician who works outside of the sacrificial arena, smothering...

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Meaning: The Secret Heart of the Sacred

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pp. 181-236

Rabbi Bunam used to tell young men who came to him for the first time the story of Rabbi Eizik, son of Rabbi Yekel of Cracow. Aft er many years of great poverty which had never shaken his faith in God, he dreamed someone bade him look for a treasure in Prague, under...

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Yajñānta: The End of Sacrifice

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pp. 237-252

Th is book began with two aims. Th e first was to ascertain whether and to what extent Girard’s mimetic theory and his idea of the sacrificial origin of religion and culture could enrich our understanding of Hinduism. Th e second was to see what kind of corrections or nuances the Hindu tradition could...

Notes

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pp. 253-286

Bibliography

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pp. 287-302

Index

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pp. 303-310