“Traditions in Contact and Change” was the theme of the fourteenth quinquennial congress of the International Association for the History of Religions. This selection from 450 papers by scholars form all over the world address the theme.
Section One, “Indian Traditions and Western Interactions,” treats subjects ranging from the flood story in Vedic ritual to a s study of the women of the Nehru family. Section Two, “Buddhist, Chinese, and Japanese Studies,” includes discussions of the origin of the Mahayana, William James and Japanese Buddhism, and lyrical imagery and religious content in Japanese art. Section Three, “Mediterranean Cultures,” covers a broad range of topics, from foster children in early Christianity to “the transformation of Christianity into Roman religion” to the change in the status of women in Iceland from pagan to Christian times. Section Four, “Islamic, African, and Amerindian Developments,” examines such subjects as religions in conflict and change in the works of African novelists, tradition and change in Indian Islam, and religious acculturation among Oglala Lakota. Section Five offers “Methodological and Theoretical Discussions” of women’s studies, Western perceptions of Asia, structure in Jung and Lévi-Strauss, among others.
The essays provide ready access to the leading edge of scholarship across a wide range of religions and cultures and should be of interest to students of religion, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and philosophy.