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  • Temple as Catalyst: Renovation and Religious Merit in the Field

    Deborah L. Stein

    Chapter from the book: Stein, D. 2018. The Hegemony of Heritage: Ritual and the Record in Stone.


    Chapter 2: Temple as Catalyst forms the core of this original work. Predicated on the premise that the temple serves as a spark to ignite all of the human action that radiates out from it’s numinous and architectural core, this chapter examines renovation and religious merit in the field. Is a beautifully carved silver gate installed at Ékaliṅgjī, somehow more valuable than the gold and silver paint used to paint the inter sanctum of the tenth-century Ambikā Temple in Jagat? Using a diverse range of theorists from Adorno and Kant to R. C. Agrawala and Derrida, the reader has a chance to begin this book with an examination of the fraught idea of taste. How do conflicting notions of taste impact the aesthetic present, future, and ideological pasts of the early medieval monuments we study in Northwestern India? The tension between preservation and use is contextualized more broadly within the category of World Heritage at large, with sites such as Angkor Wat.

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    Stein, D. 2018. Temple as Catalyst: Renovation and Religious Merit in the Field. In: Stein, D, The Hegemony of Heritage. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.46.c

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    Published on May 4, 2018


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