Joanna Jurewicz j.jurewicz at uw.edu.pl
Sun Oct 23 10:41:58 UTC 2016

Dear All,

I am happy to inform that my new book "Fire, Death and Philosophy. A
History of Ancient Indian Thinking" has just appeared. You can find the
book at http://www.24naukowa.pl




This monograph is a continuation of the research presented in 'Fire and
Cognition in the Ṛgveda' (2010). The sources which I analyze here are: the
late hymns of the Ṛgveda, the “philosophical” hymns of the Atharvaveda,
cosmogonies of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa and selected parts of the oldest
Upaniṣads, composed before the Buddha (Bṛhadāraṇyaka, Chāndogya,
Aitareya,  Taittirīya and Kauṣītaki). The basic claims of the research are
as follows. Firstly, the composers of these texts continue the metaphysical
assumptions of the Ṛgveda, according to which fire is the metaphysical
principle  underlying  reality. This continuity is expressed not only in
the exegesis expressed in the texts, but also in the ritual practice which
is presented in detail in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa.  Secondly, the diachronic
approach allows me to track how the thought changed, how new concepts and
theories appear and develop. It also allows me to propose  possible reasons
for these changes. Thirdly, my approach allows me to reconstruct the belief
in rebirth which is presented in these texts. As in my previous book, my
tools are traditional philology and cognitive linguistics, because the
features of these texts are similar to the Ṛgveda and their explicit form
is difficult to comprehend, especially as far as the philosophical content
is concerned. The early Indian texts open the way to the beginnings of
human philosophical thinking and show that abstract and general thinking
can be created in the oral tradition.

dr hab. Joanna Jurewicz, prof. UW
Katedra Azji Południowej /Chair of South Asia
Wydział Orientalistyczny / Faculty of Oriental Studies
Uniwersytet Warszawski /University of Warsaw
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
00-927 Warszawa

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