This book offers an interpretive history of bhakti, an influential religious perspective in Hinduism. Prentiss argues that although bhakti is mentioned in every contemporary sourcebook on Indian religions, it still lacks an agreed-upon definition. "Devotion" is found to be the most commonly used synonym. Prentiss seeks a new perspective on this elusive concept. Her analysis of Tamil (south Indian) materials leads her to suggest that bhakti be understood as a doctrine of embodiment. Bhakti, she says, urges people towards active engagement in the worship of God. She proposes that the term "devotion" be replaced by "participation," emphasizing bhakti's call for engagement in worship and the necessity of embodiment to fulfill that obligation.
- Publication Date:
- 08 / 12 / 1999