Yigal Bronner and Lawrence J. McCrea

Aug 26, 2021

First Words, Last Words

New Theories for Reading Old Texts in Sixteenth Century India

Oxford University Press, USA 2021

First Words, Last Words: New Theories for Reading Old Texts in Sixteenth Century India (Oxford UP, 2021) charts an intense "pamphlet war" that took place in sixteenth-century South India. Yigal Bronner and Lawrence McCrea explore this controversy as a case study in the dynamics of innovation in early modern India, a time of great intellectual innovation. This debate took place within the traditional discourses of Vedic Hermeneutics and its increasingly influential sibling discipline of Vednta, and its proponents among the leading intellectuals and public figures of the period. First Words, Last Words traces both the issue of sequence and the question of innovation through an in-depth study of this debate and through a comparative survey of similar problems in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, revealing that the disputants in this controversy often pretended to uphold traditional views, when they were in fact radically innovative.

Raj Balkaran is a scholar, educator, consultant, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com.

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Raj Balkaran

Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com.

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