Interactions among Śaiva, Vaiṣṇava and other religious and philosophical schools
The religious debate in the early second millennium in South India

Topic


The early second millennium in South India saw a culmination of scholarly activities in the sphere of Śaiva and Vaiṣṇava devotional movements, including both philosophical and ritual discourses. While we tend to study these separately from each other, for Śaiva and Vaiṣṇava thinkers both aspects – theological speculations and ritual practice – played an integral part in their intellectual and daily lives, and thus we should consider their theological works deeply entangled in the ritual world they moved in. Further, these scholarly activities were embedded in an environment with a long history of Śaiva and Vaiṣṇava interactions, with some works showing passages conceived in direct response to their competitors. The present workshop aims to transcend disciplinary boundaries and investigate the interactions between both Śaiva and Vaiṣṇava thinkers as well as theological theory and ritual practice and how these may be manifested in discourses of identity on both an ideological and a practical level. Some of the questions will be: Do ritual practice and theological theory correspond to each other? How did theories develop from rituals and subsequently feed back and impact theological discourses and vice versa? To what extent do rituals presuppose an identification between God and His human devotees? And does the answer to this question depend on a dispute between opponents, who upheld the opposite view (i.e., a non-dualist Śaiva answer may depend on a dualist Vaiṣṇava opponent)? Or how much do Śaiva-Vaiṣṇava or intra-Vaiṣṇava and intra-Śaiva exchanges shape prescriptive and theoretical discourses on ritual practices relating to external religious markers?

In order to pursue this set of questions, a range of specialists has been asked to choose a passage from key works that shaped the intellectual and ritual life of early medieval South India. While an introduction to each of the sources will be presented, the sessions will focus on the joint reading to be held in the light of this set of guiding questions. In addition, further specialists have been invited to join the reading and contribute towards the discussions.

If you wish to participate, please register with an email to elisa.freschi(at)oeaw.ac.at by 15 September 2017.

Participants


Diwakar Acharya, Oxford University

Hugo David, École française d'Extrême-Orient, Pondicherry/Paris

Florinda De Simini, University L’Orientale, Naples

Jonathan Duquette, Oxford University

Elisa Freschi, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Dominic Goodall, École française d'Extrême-Orient, Pondicherry/Paris

Nirajan Kafle, University of Leiden

Robert Leach, University of Zurich

Larry McCrea, Cornell University

Nina Mirnig, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Ajay Rao, University of Toronto

Marion Rastelli, Austrian Academy of Science

Marcus Schmücker, Austrian Academy of Science

Michael Williams

Provisional program


Monday, 9.10.2017

9:00–9:10

Welcome

9:10–10:40

Reading from Appayadīkṣita's Śivārkamaṇidīpikā

Larry McCrea, Cornell University

10:40–11:00

Coffee break

11:00–12:30

Reading from Sudarśanasūri’s Śrutaprakāśikā

Jonathan Duquette, Oxford University

12:30–13:30

Lunch

13:30–15:00

Reading from Veṅkaṭanātha’s Tattvamuktākalāpa

Ajay Rao, University of Toronto

15:00–15:30

Coffee break

15:30–17:00

Reading from Tattvoddyotaṭīkā by Jayatīrtha

Michael Williams

Tuesday 10.10.2017

9:00–10:30

Reading from Viṣṇudharma

Nirajan Kafle, University of Leiden

10:30–11:00

Coffee break

11:00–12:30

Reading from Vīraśaivasāroddhara with Somanātha's commentary

Jonathan Duquette, Oxford University

and Nina Mirnig, Austrian Academy of Sciences

12:30–13:30

Lunch

13:30–15:00

Reading from Sarvajñānottaratantra with Aghoraśiva's commentary

Dominic Goodall, École française d'Extrême-Orient, Pondicherry/Paris

15:00–15:30

Coffee break

15:30–17:00

Reading from Rāmakaṇṭha’s Mokṣakārikāvṛtti on Sadyojyotis' Mokṣakārikā

Hugo David, École française d'Extrême-Orient, Pondicherry/Paris