shameless self-promotion x 2

Jonathan Silk kauzeya at GMAIL.COM
Sun Oct 19 21:00:16 UTC 2008

Dear Colleagues,

Encouraged by others who have kindly alerted us to their recent
publications, I dare to engage in a bit of my own shameless (shameful?)
self-promotion, doubled I'm afraid:

Riven by Lust : Incest and Schism in Indian Buddhist Legend and
Historiography / Jonathan A. Silk. - Honolulu : University of Hawai'i Press,
2008. - ca. 376 S.
ISBN 978-0-8248-3090-8
US$ 55,00

Riven by Lust explores the tale of a man accused of causing the fundamental
schism in early Indian Buddhism, but not before he has sex with his mother
and kills his father. In tracing this Indian Buddhist Oedipal tale, Jonathan
Silk follows it through texts in all of the major canonical languages of
Buddhism, Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Chinese, and Japanese, along the way
noting parallels and contrasts with classical and medieval European stories
such as the legend of the Oedipal Judas. Simultaneously, he investigates the
psychological and anthropological understandings of the tale of mother-son
incest in light of contemporary psychological and anthropological
understandings of incest, with special attention to the question of why we
consider it among the worst of crimes.
   In seeking to understand how the story worked in Indian texts and for
Indian audiences-as well as how it might work for modern readers-this book
has both horizontal and vertical dimensions, probing the place of the
Oedipal in Indian culture, Buddhist and non-Buddhist, and simultaneously
framing the Indian Oedipal within broader human concerns, thereby
contributing to the study of the history of Buddhism, the transmission of
narratives in the ancient world, and the fundamental nature of one aspect of
human sexuality.
   Starting from a brief reference in a polemical treatise, Riven by Lust
demonstrates that its authors borrowed and intentionally adapted a
preexisting story of an Oedipal antihero. This recasting allowed them to
calumniate their opponents in the strongest possible terms through the
rhetoric of murder and incest. Silk draws on a wide variety of sources to
demonstrate the range of thinking about incest in Indian Buddhist culture,
thereby uncovering the strategies and working methods of the ancient
polemicists. He argues that Indian Buddhists and Hindus, while occupying the
same world for the most part, thought differently about fundamental issues
such as incest, and hints at the consequent necessity of a reappraisal of
our notions of the shape of the ancient cultural sphere they shared.
   Provocative and innovative, Riven by Lust is a paradigmatic analysis of a
major theme of world mythology and a signal contribution to the study of the
history of incest and comparative sexualities. It will attract readers
interested in Buddhism, Indian studies, Asian studies, comparative culture,
mythology, psychology, and the history of sexuality.

Managing Monks
Administrators and Administrative Roles in Indian Buddhist Monasticism
Jonathan A. Silk
ISBN13: 9780195326840ISBN10: 0195326849 hardback, 360 pages
Sep 2008,

The paradigmatic Buddhist is the monk. It is well known that ideally
Buddhist monks are expected to meditate and study -- to engage in religious
practice. The institutional structure which makes this concentration on
spiritual cultivation possible is the monastery. But as a bureaucratic
institution, the monastery requires administrators to organize and manage
its functions, to prepare quiet spots for meditation, to arrange audiences
for sermons, or simply to make sure food, rooms, and bedding are provided.
The valuations placed on such organizational roles were, however, a subject
of considerable controversy among Indian Buddhist writers, with some
considering them significantly less praiseworthy than meditative
concentration or teaching and study, while others more highly appreciated
their importance. Managing Monks , as the first major study of the
administrative offices of Indian Buddhist monasticism and of those who hold
them, explores literary sources, inscriptions and other materials in
Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, and Chinese in order to explore this tension and
paint a picture of the internal workings of the Buddhist monastic
institution in India, highlighting the ambivalent and sometimes
contradictory attitudes toward administrators revealed in various sources.
Product Details
360 pages; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; ISBN13: 978-0-19-532684-0ISBN10: 0-19-532684-9

J. Silk
Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
Postbus 9515
2300 RA Leiden

J. Silk
Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
Postbus 9515
2300 RA Leiden

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list