Origins of the Virasaiva Sects is probably the most thorough exploration of Virasaivism available in any language except Kannada. Already, the activities of founder/reformer Basava are well known throughout India and the world. Similarly, certain reformational aspects of Virasaivism have attracted the attention of Western scholarship.
Professor Michael's book, however, goes beyond all previous efforts in non-Kannada languages. It explores a crucial text, the Sunyasampadane, from Virasaivism's third century of development. There it finds sources for the seldom explored variety of forms and practices which characterize contemporary Virasaiva sectarian and denominational patterns.
Non-Virasaivas will finally have an opportunity to appreciate the richness and depth of this significant religious movement. Virasaivas themselves may acquire a new appreciation of their own tradition's breadth and sophistication. All impressive and informative.
About the Author:
PROFESSOR R. BLAKE MICHAEL is Swan-Collins-Allen Professor of World Religions and Christian Mission and also Director of Off-Campus Programs at Ohio, USA. An ordained United Methodist minister, he has also served as Adjunct Professor at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio.
Professor Michael holds the A.B. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the M. Div A.M., and Ph.D. degree from Harvard University. He has also studied at the Central Institute of Indian Languages in Mysore and has travelled throughout South India in the conduct of his research.
He has published half a dozen articles on Virasaivism in the journals of the American Oriental Society, Association of Asian Studies, American Academy of Religion, and in Numen. Many of these have been reprinted in the Basava Journal of Bangalore. He is currently researching for a monograph on Akkamahadevi.
Author Index of Vacana Quotations
Text-Source Index of Vacana Quotations
Kannada First-Line Index of Vacana Quotations
English First-Line Index of Vacana Quotations
Index with Glossary
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