Hamsa Stainton

Jun 11, 2020

Poetry as Prayer in the Sanskrit Hymns of Kashmir

Oxford University Press 2019

In Poetry as Prayer in the Sanskrit Hymns of Kashmir (Oxford University Press, 2019), Hamsa Stainton explores the relationship between 'poetry’ and ‘prayer’ in South Asia through close examination of the history of Sanskrit hymns of praise (stotras) in Kashmir from the eighth century onwards. Beyond charting the history and features of the stotra genre, Hamsa Stainton presents the first sustained study of the Stutikusumāñjali, an important work dedicated to the god Śiva, one bearing witness to the trajectory of Sanskrit literary culture in fourteenth-century Kashmir. Poetry as Prayer illumines how these Śaiva poets integrate poetics, theology and devotion in the production of usage of Sanskrit hymns, and more broadly expands our understanding Hindu bhakti itself. Hamsa Stainton is an Assistant Professor in the School of Religious Studies at McGill University.
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