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1. cover
Title: God, Harlem U.S.A.: the Father Divine story
Author: Watts, Jill
Published: University of California Press,  1992
Subjects: History | United States History | Christianity | American Studies | African American Studies | African Studies
Publisher's Description: How did an African-American man born in a ghetto in 1879 rise to such religious prominence that his followers addressed letters to him simply "God, Harlem U.S.A."?Using hitherto unknown materials, Jill Watts portrays the life and career of one of the twentieth century's most intriguing religious leaders, Father Divine. Starting as an itinerant preacher, Father Divine built an unprecedented movement that by the 1930s had attracted followers across the nation and around the world. As his ministry grew, so did the controversy surrounding his enormous wealth, flamboyant style, and committed "angels" - black and white, rich and poor alike.Here for the first time a full account of Father Divine's childhood and early years challenges previous contentions that he was born into a sharecropping family in the deep South. While earlier biographers have concentrated on Father Divine's social and economic programs, Watts focuses on his theology, which gives new meaning to secular activities that often appeared contradictory. Although much has been written about Father Divine, God, Harlem U.S.A . finally provides a balanced and intimate account of his life's work.   [brief]
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2. cover
Title: Divine passions: the social construction of emotion in India online access is available to everyone
Author: Lynch, Owen M 1931-
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: Anthropology | South Asia | History
Publisher's Description: Naked holy men denying sexuality and feeling; elderly people basking in the warmth and security provided by devoted and attentive family members; fastidious priests concerned solely with rules of purity and minutiae of ritual practice; puritanical moralists concealing women and sexuality behind purdah's veils - these are familiar Western stereotypes of India. The essays in Divine Passions , however, paint other, more colorful and emotionally alive pictures of India: ecstatic religious devotees rolling in temple dust; gray-haired elders worrying about neglect and mistreatment by family members; priests pursuing a lusty, carefree ideal of the good life; and jokers reviling one another with bawdy, sexual insults at marriages.Drawing on rich ethnographic data from emotion-charged scenarios, these essays question Western academic theories of emotion, particularly those that reduce emotions to physiological sensations or to an individual's private feelings. Presenting an alternative view of emotions as culturally constructed and morally evaluative concepts grounded in the bodily self, the contributors to Divine Passions help dispel some of the West's persistent misconceptions of Indian emotional experience. Moreover, the edition as a whole argues for a new and different understanding of India based on field research and an understanding of the devotional (bhakti) tradition.   [brief]
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3. cover
Title: To live as long as heaven and earth: a translation and study of Ge Hong's traditions of divine transcendents
Author: Campany, Robert Ford 1959-
Published: University of California Press,  2002
Subjects: Religion | Asian Studies | China | Taoism | Buddhism
Publisher's Description: In late classical and early medieval China, ascetics strove to become transcendents--deathless beings with supernormal powers. Practitioners developed dietetic, alchemical, meditative, gymnastic, sexual, and medicinal disciplines (some of which are still practiced today) to perfect themselves and thus transcend death. Narratives of their achievements circulated widely. Ge Hong (283-343 c.e.) collected and preserved many of their stories in his Traditions of Divine Transcendents, affording us a window onto this extraordinary response to human mortality. Robert Ford Campany's groundbreaking and carefully researched text offers the first complete, critical translation and commentary for this important Chinese religious work, at the same time establishing a method for reconstructing lost texts from medieval China. Clear, exacting, and annotated, the translation comprises over a hundred lively, engaging narratives of individuals deemed to have fought death and won. Additionally, To Live as Long as Heaven and Earth systematically introduces the Chinese quest for transcendence, illuminating a poorly understood tradition that was an important source of Daoist religion and a major social, cultural, and religious phenomenon in its own right.   [brief]
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4. cover
Title: Women preachers and prophets through two millennia of Christianity
Author: Kienzle, Beverly Mayne
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: Religion | Women's Studies | Christianity | Classical Religions | History | Medieval Studies
Publisher's Description: For nearly two millennia, despite repeated prohibitions, Christian women have preached. Some have preached in official settings; others have found alternative routes for expression. Prophecy, teaching, writing, and song have all filled a broad definition of preaching. This anthology, with essays by an international group of scholars from several disciplines, investigates the diverse voices of Christian women who claimed the authority to preach and prophesy. The contributors examine the centuries of arguments, grounded in Pauline injunctions, against women's public speech and the different ways women from the early years of the church through the twentieth century have nonetheless exercised religious leadership in their communities. Some of them based their authority solely on divine inspiration; others were authorized by independent-minded communities; a few were even recognized by the church hierarchy. With its lively accounts of women preachers and prophets in the Christian tradition, this exceptionally well-documented collection will interest scholars and general readers alike.   [brief]
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5. cover
Title: Many Rāmāyaṇas: the diversity of a narrative tradition in South Asia online access is available to everyone
Author: Richman, Paula
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: Religion | Hinduism | Cultural Anthropology | South Asia
Publisher's Description: Throughout Indian history, many authors and performers have produced, and many patrons have supported, diverse tellings of the story of the exiled prince Rama, who rescues his abducted wife by battling the demon king who has imprisoned her. The contributors to this volume focus on these "many" Ramayanas .While most scholars continue to rely on Valmiki's Sanskrit Ramayana as the authoritative version of the tale, the contributors to this volume do not. Their essays demonstrate the multivocal nature of the Ramayana by highlighting its variations according to historical period, political context, regional literary tradition, religious affiliation, intended audience, and genre. Socially marginal groups in Indian society - Telugu women, for example, or Untouchables from Madhya Pradesh - have recast the Rama story to reflect their own views of the world, while in other hands the epic has become the basis for teachings about spiritual liberation or the demand for political separatism. Historians of religion, scholars of South Asia, folklorists, cultural anthropologists - all will find here refreshing perspectives on this tale.   [brief]
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6. cover
Title: Encountering Kali ; in the margins, at the center, in the West
Author: McDermott, Rachel Fell
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: Religion | Hinduism | South Asia | Women's Studies
Publisher's Description: Encountering Kal¾ explores one of the most remarkable divinities the world has seen - the Hindu goddess Kal¾. She is simultaneously understood as a blood-thirsty warrior, a goddess of ritual possession, a Tantric sexual partner, and an all-loving, compassionate Mother. Popular and scholarly interest in her has been on the rise in the West in recent years. Responding to this phenomenon, this volume focuses on the complexities involved in interpreting Kal¾ in both her indigenous South Asian settings and her more recent Western incarnations. Using scriptural history, temple architecture, political violence, feminist and psychoanalytic criticism, autobiographical reflection, and the goddess's recent guises on the Internet, the contributors pose questions relevant to our understanding of Kal¾, as they illuminate the problems and promises inherent in every act of cross-cultural interpretation.   [brief]
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7. cover
Title: Crack in America: demon drugs and social justice
Author: Reinarman, Craig
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: American Studies | Sociology | Urban Studies
Publisher's Description: Crack in America is the definitive book on crack cocaine. In reinterpreting the crack story, it offers new understandings of both drug addiction and drug prohibition. It shows how crack use arose in the face of growing unemployment, poverty, racism, and shrinking social services. It places crack in its historical context - as the latest in a long line of demonized drugs - and it examines the crack scare as a phenomenon in its own right. Most important, it uses crack and the crack scare as windows onto America's larger drug and drug policy problems.Written by a team of veteran drug researchers in medicine, law, and the social sciences, this book provides the most comprehensive, penetrating, and original analysis of the crack problem to date. It reviews the social pharmacology of crack and offers rich ethnographic case studies of crack binging, addiction, and sales. It explores crack's different impacts on whites, blacks, the middle class, and the poor, and explains why crack was always much less of a problem in other countries such as Canada, Australia, and The Netherlands. Crack in America helps readers understand why the United States has the most repressive, expensive, and yet least effective drug policy in the Western world. It discusses the ways politicians and the media generated the crack scare as the centerpiece of the War on Drugs. It catalogues the costs of the War on Drugs for civil liberties, situates crack use and sales in the political economy of the inner cities in the 1980s, and shows how the drug war led to the most massive wave of imprisonment in U.S. history. Finally, it explains why the failures of drug prohibition have led to the emergence of the harm reduction movement and other opposition forces that are changing the face of U.S. drug policy.   [brief]
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8. cover
Title: Inside the drama-house: Rama stories and shadow puppets in South India online access is available to everyone
Author: Blackburn, Stuart H
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: Anthropology | Asian Studies | South Asia | Cinema and Performance Arts | Hinduism
Publisher's Description: Stuart Blackburn takes the reader inside a little-known form of shadow puppetry in this captivating work about performing the Tamil version of the Ramayana epic. Blackburn describes the skill and physical stamina of the puppeteers in Kerala state in South India as they perform all night for as many as ten weeks during the festival season. The fact that these performances often take place without an audience forms the starting point for Blackburn's discussion - one which explores not only this important epic tale and its performance, but also the broader theoretical issues of text, interpretation, and audience.Blackburn demonstrates how the performers adapt the narrative and add their own commentary to re-create the story from a folk perspective. At a time when the Rama story is used to mobilize political movements in India, the puppeteers' elaborate recitation and commentary presents this controversial tale from another ethical perspective, one that advocates moral reciprocity and balance.While the study of folk narrative has until now focused on tales, tellers, and tellings, this work explores the importance of audience - absent or otherwise. Blackburn's elegant translations of the most dramatic and pivotal sequences of the story enhance our appreciation of this unique example of performance art.   [brief]
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9. cover
Title: The triumph of Venus: the erotics of the market
Author: Schroeder, Jeanne Lorraine
Published: University of California Press,  2004
Subjects: Social and Political Thought | Economics and Business | Gender Studies | Law
Publisher's Description: The theory of law and economics that dominates American jurisprudence today views the market as rational and individuals as driven by the desire to increase their wealth. It is a view riddled with misconceptions, as Jeanne Lorraine Schroeder demonstrates in this challenging work, which looks at contemporary debates in legal theory through the lens of psychoanalysis and continental philosophy. Through metaphors drawn from classical mythology and interpreted via Lacanian psychoanalysis and Hegelian philosophy, Schroeder exposes the hidden and repressed erotics of the market. Her work shows how the predominant economic analysis of markets and the standard romantic critique of markets are in fact mirror images, reflecting the misconception that reason and passion are inalterably opposed.   [brief]
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10. cover
Title: Fountain of fortune: money and monetary policy in China, 1000-1700
Author: Von Glahn, Richard
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: History | China | Asian History | Economics and Business
Publisher's Description: In this study, the first of its kind in the English language, Richard von Glahn offers a definitive analysis of the economic, political, and social history of money and monetary policy during the Song, Yuan, Ming, and early Qing dynasties. Von Glahn presents a revisionist interpretation of previously held ideas about the effect of money and international trade in bullion on the rise and decline of dynastic power in China.Von Glahn's study also links Chinese monetary history to changing trends in money use and trade in gold and silver in Asia, Europe, and the Western Hemisphere. China's shift to a silver economy had a decisive influence not only on the growth of a market economy in China, but also on the formation of a global economy in the early modern era.Exhaustively researched from original archival sources, Fountain of Fortune critically examines the many facets of China's domestic and foreign monetary policy: the foundations of Chinese monetary theory; mining and minting of bronze coin; the rise and fall of paper currency; and the transition to silver bullion as the monetary standard. Providing keen insight into the economic and social history of Chinese society, this volume will serve as an indispensable reference for the reader seeking to understand China's distinctive history and its relationship to the world at large.   [brief]
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11. cover
Title: Chaucer's Dante: allegory and epic theater in The Canterbury tales online access is available to everyone
Author: Neuse, Richard
Published: University of California Press,  1991
Subjects: Literature | English Literature | European Literature | Medieval Studies
Publisher's Description: Richard Neuse here explores the relationship between two great medieval epics, Dante's Divine Comedy and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales . He argues that Dante's attraction for Chaucer lay not so much in the spiritual dimension of the Divine Comedy as in the human.Borrowing Bertolt Brecht's phrase "epic theater," Neuse underscores the interest of both poets in presenting, as on a stage, flesh and blood characters in which readers would recognize the authors as well as themselves. As spiritual autobiography, both poems challenge the traditional medieval mode of allegory, with its tendency to separate body and soul, matter and spirit. Thus Neuse demonstrates that Chaucer and Dante embody a humanism not generally attributed to the fourteenth century.   [brief]
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12. cover
Title: Devī: goddesses of India
Author: Hawley, John Stratton 1941-
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: Religion | Hinduism | Women's Studies | South Asia
Publisher's Description: The monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have severely limited the portrayal of the divine as feminine. But in Hinduism "God" very often means "Goddess." This extraordinary collection explores twelve different Hindu goddesses, all of whom are in some way related to Devi, the Great Goddess. They range from the liquid goddess-energy of the River Ganges to the possessing, entrancing heat of Bhagavati and Seranvali. They are local, like Vindhyavasini, and global, like Kali; ancient, like Saranyu, and modern, like "Mother India." The collection combines analysis of texts with intensive fieldwork, allowing the reader to see how goddesses are worshiped in everyday life. In these compelling essays, the divine feminine in Hinduism is revealed as never before - fascinating, contradictory, powerful.   [brief]
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13. cover
Title: Early Daoist scriptures
Author: Bokenkamp, Stephen R 1949-
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: Religion | China | Classical Literature and Language | Taoism
Publisher's Description: For centuries Daoism (Taoism) has played a central role in the development of Chinese thought and civilization, yet to this day only a few of its sacred texts have been translated into English. Now Stephen R. Bokenkamp introduces the reader to ancient scriptures never before published in the West, providing a systematic and easily accessible introduction to early Daoism (c. 2nd-6th C.E.). Representative works from each of the principal Daoist traditions comprise the basic structure of the book, with each chapter accompanied by an introduction that places the material within a historical and cultural context. Included are translations of the earliest Daoist commentary to Laozi's Daode jing (Tao Te Ching); historical documents relating the history of the early Daoist church; a petitioning ritual used to free believers from complaints brought against them by the dead; and two complete scriptures, one on individual meditation practice and another designed to rescue humanity from the terrors of hell through recitation of its powerful charms. In addition, Bokenkamp elucidates the connections Daoism holds with other schools of thought, particularly Confucianism and Buddhism.This book provides a much-needed introduction to Daoism for students of religion and is a welcome addition for scholars wishing to explore Daoist sacred literature. It serves as an overview to every aspect of early Daoist tradition and all the seminal practices which have helped shape the religion as it exists today.   [brief]
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14. cover
Title: Time and the crystal: studies in Dante's Rime petrose online access is available to everyone
Author: Durling, Robert M
Published: University of California Press,  1990
Subjects: Literature | European Literature | Literary Theory and Criticism
Publisher's Description: The Rime petrose , Dante's powerful lyrics about a woman as beautiful and as hard as a precious stone, are generally acknowledged to be an important moment in his stylistic development. In this first full-length investigation of the poetics of the petrose and of their relation to the Divine Comedy , Durling and Martinez uncover much new material, especially from medieval science (astrology and mineralogy), philosophy, and theology. The authors argue that the Rime petrose represent a major turning point in Dante's conception of a "microcosmic poetics" that became the fundamental mode of the Commedia . They demonstrate how Dante here attempts his first full account of his relation to the universe as a whole.This work offers many new insights into the intrinsic significance of these remarkable poems and their place in Dante's development - especially far-reaching are the implications for the interpretation of the Divine Comedy . The book will be of interest not only to students of Dante but also to intellectual historians, historians of science, students of poetics and poetic theory, and to all those interested in medieval literature.   [brief]
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15. cover
Title: Absent lord: ascetics and kings in a Jain ritual culture online access is available to everyone
Author: Babb, Lawrence A
Published: University of California Press,  1996
Subjects: Religion | Asian Studies | Anthropology
Publisher's Description: What does it mean to worship beings that one believes are completely indifferent to, and entirely beyond the reach of, any form of worship whatsoever? How would such a relationship with sacred beings affect the religious life of a community? Using these questions as his point of departure, Lawrence A. Babb explores the ritual culture of image-worshipping Svetambar Jains of the western Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan.Jainism traces its lineages back to the ninth century B.C.E. and is, along with Buddhism, the only surviving example of India's ancient non-Vedic religious traditions. It is known and celebrated for its systematic practice of non-violence and for the intense rigor of the asceticism it promotes. A unique aspect of Babb's study is his linking of the Jain tradition to the social identity of existing Jain communities.Babb concludes by showing that Jain ritual culture can be seen as a variation on pan-Indian ritual patterns. In illuminating this little-known religious tradition, he demonstrates that divine "absence" can be as rich as divine "presence" in its possibilities for informing a religious response to the cosmos.   [brief]
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16. cover
Title: Sister of wisdom: St. Hildegard's theology of the feminine
Author: Newman, Barbara 1953-
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: History | Religion | Gender Studies | Women's Studies | Intellectual History | Medieval Studies
Publisher's Description: Barbara Newman reintroduces English-speaking readers to an extraordinary and gifted figure of the twelfth-century renaissance. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was mystic and writer, musician and preacher, abbess and scientist who used symbolic theology to explore the meaning of her gender within the . . . [more]
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17. cover
Title: The Gothic enterprise: a guide to understanding the Medieval cathedral
Author: Scott, Robert A 1935-
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: Medieval Studies | Architecture | European Studies | Christianity | European History | Architectural History | Sociology | Sociology
Publisher's Description: The great Gothic cathedrals of Europe are among the most astonishing achievements of Western culture. Evoking feelings of awe and humility, they make us want to understand what inspired the people who had the audacity to build them. This engrossing book surveys an era that has fired the historical imagination for centuries. In it Robert A. Scott explores why medieval people built Gothic cathedrals, how they built them, what conception of the divine lay behind their creation, and how religious and secular leaders used cathedrals for social and political purposes. As a traveler's companion or a rich source of knowledge for the armchair enthusiast, The Gothic Enterprise helps us understand how ordinary people managed such tremendous feats of physical and creative energy at a time when technology was rudimentary, famine and disease were rampant, the climate was often harsh, and communal life was unstable and incessantly violent. While most books about Gothic cathedrals focus on a particular building or on the cathedrals of a specific region, The Gothic Enterprise considers the idea of the cathedral as a humanly created space. Scott discusses why an impoverished people would commit so many social and personal resources to building something so physically stupendous and what this says about their ideas of the sacred, especially the vital role they ascribed to the divine as a protector against the dangers of everyday life. Scott's narrative offers a wealth of fascinating details concerning daily life during medieval times. The author describes the difficulties master-builders faced in scheduling construction that wouldn't be completed during their own lifetimes, how they managed without adequate numeric systems or paper on which to make detailed drawings, and how climate, natural disasters, wars, variations in the hours of daylight throughout the year, and the celebration of holy days affected the pace and timing of work. Scott also explains such things as the role of relics, the quarrying and transporting of stone, and the incessant conflict cathedral-building projects caused within their communities. Finally, by drawing comparisons between Gothic cathedrals and other monumental building projects, such as Stonehenge, Scott expands our understanding of the human impulses that shape our landscape.   [brief]
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18. cover
Title: "Ronald Reagan," the movie: and other episodes in political demonology
Author: Rogin, Michael Paul
Published: University of California Press,  1988
Subjects: History | Politics | Popular Culture | United States History
Publisher's Description: The fear of the subversive has governed American politics, from the racial conflicts of the early republic to the Hollywood anti-Communism of Ronald Reagan. Political monsters - the Indian cannibal, the black rapist, the demon rum, the bomb-throwing anarchist, the many-tentacled Communist conspiracy, the agents of international terrorism - are familiar figures in the dream life that so often dominates American political consciousness. What are the meanings and sources of these demons? Why does the American political imagination conjure them up? Michael Rogin answers these questions by examining the American countersubversive tradition.   [brief]
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19. cover
Title: Tales of the neighborhood: Jewish narrative dialogues in late antiquity
Author: Hasan-Rokem, Galit
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: Jewish Studies | Folklore and Mythology | Women's Studies | Literature | Judaism
Publisher's Description: In this lively and intellectually engaging book, Galit Hasan-Rokem shows that religion is shaped not only in the halls of theological disputation and institutions of divine study, but also in ordinary events of everyday life. Common aspects of human relations offer a major source for the symbols of religious texts and rituals of late antique Judaism as well as its partner in narrative dialogues, early Christianity, Hasan-Rokem argues. Focusing on the "neighborhood" of the Galilee that is the birthplace of many major religious and cultural developments, this book brings to life the riddles, parables, and folktales passed down in Rabbinic stories from the first half of the first millennium of the Common Era.   [brief]
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20. cover
Title: When God is a customer: Telugu courtesan songs online access is available to everyone
Author: Kṣētrayya 17th cent
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: Literature | Literature in Translation | Poetry | Hinduism | South Asia
Publisher's Description: How is it that this woman's breastsglimmer so clearly through her saree?Can't you guess, my friends?What are they but rays from the crescentsleft by the nails of her loverpressing her in his passion,rays now luminous as the moonlightof a summer night?These South Indian devotional poems show the dramatic use of erotic language to express a religious vision. Written by men during the fifteenth to eighteenth century, the poems adopt a female voice, the voice of a courtesan addressing her customer. That customer, it turns out, is the deity, whom the courtesan teases for his infidelities and cajoles into paying her more money. Brazen, autonomous, fully at home in her body, she merges her worldly knowledge with the deity's transcendent power in the act of making love.This volume is the first substantial collection in English of these Telugu writings, which are still part of the standard repertoire of songs used by classical South Indian dancers. A foreword provides context for the poems, investigating their religious, cultural, and historical significance. Explored, too, are the attempts to contain their explicit eroticism by various apologetic and rationalizing devices.The translators, who are poets as well as highly respected scholars, render the poems with intelligence and tenderness. Unusual for their combination of overt eroticism and devotion to God, these poems are a delight to read.   [brief]
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