Sanskrit narrative is the lifeblood of Indian culture, encapsulating and perpetuating insights and values central to Indian thought and practice. This volume brings together eighteen of the foremost scholars across the globe, who, in an unprecedented collaboration, accord these texts the integrity and dignity they deserve. The last time this was attempted, on a much smaller scale, was a generation ago, with Purāṇa Perennis (1993). The pre-eminent contributors to this landmark collection use novel methods and theory to meaningfully engage Sanskrit narrative texts, showcasing the state of contemporary scholarship on the Sanskrit epics and purāṇas.
Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts, focusing on the Devī Māhātmya, the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa and the Sanskrit epics. He is the author of The Goddess and the King in Indian Myth and The Goddess and the Sun in Indian Myth. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and hosts the New Books in Indian Religions podcast.
McComas Taylor teaches at The Australian National University, in Canberra. His research combines contemporary critical theory and Sanskrit narrative literature, primarily in examining questions of knowledge and power: How does discourse shape knowledge, and how does knowledge then feed back into discourse? What makes Sanskrit texts powerful and authoritative? He has published books on the discourse of social division in the Pañcatantra and the contemporary oral performance of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa. He has recently published a translation, The Viṣṇu Purāṇa: Ancient Annals of the God with Lotus Eyes, with an accompanying audiobook, both available from ANU Press.
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