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Bringing the Gods to Mind

Mantra and Ritual in Early Indian Sacrifice

Bringing the Gods to Mind by Laurie L. Patton
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This elegantly written book introduces a new perspective on Indic religious history by rethinking the role of mantra in Vedic ritual. In Bringing the Gods to Mind, Laurie Patton takes a new look at mantra as "performed poetry" and in five case studies draws a portrait of early Indian sacrifice that moves beyond the well-worn categories of "magic" and "magico-religious" thought in Vedic sacrifice. Treating Vedic mantra as a sophisticated form of artistic composition, she develops the idea of metonymy, or associational thought, as a major motivator for the use of mantra in sacrificial performance. Filling a long-standing gap in our understanding, her book provides a history of the Indian interpretive imagination and a study of the mental creativity and hermeneutic sophistication of Vedic religion.
University of California Press; June 2005
306 pages; ISBN 9780520930889
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Title: Bringing the Gods to Mind
Author: Laurie L. Patton