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The Power of Tantra: Religion, Sexuality and the Politics of South Asian Studies

The Power of Tantra: Religion, Sexuality and the Politics of South Asian Studies (New)

by Urban, Hugh B

Publisher: I B Tauris

Binding: Paperback

Book ID: 9781845118747, 184511874X

Price: $29.50

Description

In the West, the varied body of texts and traditions known as Tantra for more than two centuries has had the capacity to scandalise and shock. For European colonisers, Orientalist scholars and Christian missionaries of the Victorian era, Tantra was generally seen as the most degenerate and depraved example of the worst tendencies of the so-called "Indian mind": a pathological mixture of sensuality and religion that prompted the decline of modern Hinduism.

Yet for most contemporary New Age and popular writers, Tantra is celebrated as a much-needed affirmation of physical pleasure and sex: indeed as a "cult of ecstasy" to counter the perceived hypocritical prudery of many Westerners. In recent years, Tantra has become the focus of a still larger cultural and political debate. In the eyes of many Hindus, much of the western literature on Tantra represents a form of neo-colonialism, which continues to portray India as an exotic, erotic, hyper-sexualized Orient. Which, then, is the "real" Tantra?

Focusing on one of the oldest and most important Tantric traditions, based in Assam, northeast India, Hugh B. Urban shows that Tantra is less about optimal sexual pleasure than about harnessing the divine power of the goddess that flows alike through the cosmos, the human body and political society. In a fresh and vital contribution to the field, the author suggests that the "real" meaning of Tantra lies in helping us rethink not just the history of Indian religions, but also our own modern obsessions with power, sex and the invidious legacies of cultural imperialism.

Gnosis 19: The Trickster. A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions Gnosis 19: The Trickster. A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions
Gnosis
Gnosis



"As long as we lie to ourselves, the Trickster will be with us. He'll show up just when we least want him, to embarrass us on a first date, to prove us fools in front of the learned company we're trying to impress, to make us miss a power breakfast with that all-important business contact."
- Richard Smoley, from the introduction

Contents -- Spring 1991

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Price: $9.00

Grimoire of the Baron Citadel: The Book of the Four Ways. Grimoire of the Baron Citadel: The Book of the Four Ways.
Hamilton-Giles, Peter
Three Hands Press

As the governor of the Dead and the burial ground, the Baron Samedi is one of the most distinctive and potent loa of Haitian Vodou. An imposing figure in black raiment, he is most often pictured as a corpse. His other magical domains, less discussed in esoteric literature, include disruption, obscenity and -- importantly for the practicing sorcerer -- not only the arts of Magic but the very fabric of which it is made.

Emergent from the spiritual crossroads of traditional Vodou and English w...
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Price: $27.50

Deconstructing Gurdjieff: Biography of a Spiritual Magician Deconstructing Gurdjieff: Biography of a Spiritual Magician
Churton, Tobias
Inner Traditions / Bear & Company

In November 1949, architect Frank Lloyd Wright announced the death of "the greatest man in the world," yet few knew who he was talking about. Enigmatic, misunderstood, declared a charlatan, and recently dubbed "the Rasputin who inspired Mary Poppins," Gurdjieff's life has become a legend. But who really was George Ivanovich Gurdjieff?

Employing the latest research and discoveries, including previously unpublished reminiscences of the real man, Tobias Churton investigates the truth beneath th...
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Price: $29.95

The Complete Mystical Records of Dr. John Dee: Transcribed from the 16th-Century Manuscripts Documen The Complete Mystical Records of Dr. John Dee: Transcribed from the 16th-Century Manuscripts Documen
Klein, Kevin
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.

A lavishly packaged, two-volume box set containing the most faithful and accurate versions of John Dee's journals ever published. This is a must-have treasure for Dee aficionados and esoteric scholars who absolutely need the most meticulously detailed version of these highly influential works. A labor of love twenty years in the making, these volumes include transcripts of four manuscripts from the British Library and one from the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Two of these manuscripts have never b...
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Price: $225.00