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Rapt in the Name
The Ramnamis, Ramnam, and Untouchable Religion in Central India
Rapt in the Name
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Ramdas Lamb - Author
SUNY series in Hindu Studies
N/A
Hardcover - 250 pages
Release Date: August 2002
ISBN10: 0-7914-5385-5
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5385-8

Out of Print
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 250 pages
Release Date: August 2002
ISBN10: 0-7914-5386-3
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5386-5

Quantity:  
Price: $31.95 
Electronic - 250 pages
Release Date: February 2012
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-8856-0

Quantity: 
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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

An introduction to the Ram bhakti tradition and a fascinating account of its practice among a group of Central Indian Untouchables.

In Rapt in the Name, Ramdas Lamb provides an intriguing account of the Ram bhakti tradition in India. Less well-known in the West than the tradition of devotion to Krishna, the Ram tradition is an important component of Hinduism. Ram is the most-worshipped form of the divine in North India today and has long been particularly important to those of the lower castes throughout India. Lamb explores both the evolution of the tradition and the rise of lower caste religious movements devoted to Ram, specifically the Ramnami Samaj, an Untouchable religious movement in Central India.

Lamb’s study of the Ramnamis has spanned nearly three decades, first on a personal level as a Hindu monk and later as both a friend and a researcher. He discusses the historical origins, as well as present-day forms and structure of the Samaj, including a description of its distinctive ritual dress and practices. Among the more innovative aspects of the sect is its adaptation of the story of Lord Ram that is uniquely woven into itsdevotional repetition of his name (Ramnam). In addition, Lamb shares biographical sketches of six Ramnamis, each of which reveals the freedom of individual exploration and expression that is integral to the sect. This is a fascinating account of religious life and adaptation on the periphery of society.

Drawing on extensive fieldwork among the Ramnamis and other Untouchable groups, the author strikes a harmonious balance between the informed consideration of various theoretical issues and the presentation of rich and unique ethnographic documentation. This book represents a significant addition to the literature on contemporary and folk religion in India. Philip Lutgendorf, author of The Life of a Text: Performing the Ramcaritmanas of Tulsidas

"Few have written about adherents’ beliefs and practices within ‘Untouchable’ religious movements with this kind of insight and scope before. This book has some wonderful material in it."-- Paula Richman, editor of Questioning Ramayanas: A South Asian Tradition

Ramdas Lamb is Associate Professor of Religion at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.


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Table of Contents

Preface

Notes on Transliteration

Introduction

1. Providing the Context

2. Historical Development of the Ram Tradition

3. Ramnam and the Ram Story in Hindi

4. Religion and the Low Caste in Central India

5. The Ramnami Samaj: Its Contemporary Forms

6. Ramnamis' Contemporary Use of the Manas and Ramnam

7. The Ramnami Life: Six Biographic Sketches

Conclusion: A Question of Values

Appendix I

Appendix II

Notes

Glossary

Bibliography

Index



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