Implicit Religion, Vol 11, No 1 (2008)

Review Article: Tantra Studies (History of the Tantric Religion: An Historical, Ritualistic and Philosophical Study (2nd Rev Ed) by N.N. Bhattacharyya and TANTRA: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religion by H.B. Urban

Israel Selvanayagam
Issued Date: 29 Aug 2008


For those who are already bewildered by the different strands intertwined to make the major Indian religious tradition known as Hinduism, there is yet one more strand, here highlighted in significant detail. This strand, called tantra, would alter the image of Hinduism to be even more poly-paradigmatic, conglomerate, encyclopaedic and kaleidoscopic than hitherto realized. But on the other hand, this topic, which is sexy, exotic, esoteric, dangerous, violent, and liberating at the same time, is most fascinating and refreshing for those who are weary of the repeated themes recurrent in studies in Hinduism. The two scholars deserve great appreciation for their adventurous journey into a most obscure territory, which explains those aspects of Hinduism which are often frowned upon but which are indispensable for a comprehensive study of India’s major religious traditions, including Buddhism. They overlap little and the second has met with the first, thus stretching the discussion on Tantra from its ancient past to its power and popularity in the post-modern world.

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DOI: 10.1558/imre.v11i1.51


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