Contents: Preface. I. Position papers: 1. Ethnography, art history, and the life of temples/Michael W. Meister, University of Pennsylvania, USA. 2. On my way of living in India/Anne Feldhaus, Arizona State University, USA. 3. Shared blessings as ethnographic practice/Ann Grodzins Gold, Syracuse University, USA. 4. Writing as if icons are really alive/Richard H. Davis. Bard College, New York, USA. 5. Communities, temples identities: art histories and social histories in Western India/John E. Cort, Dennison University, USA. 6. Opening the eyes and opening the mouth: the utility of comparing images in worship in India and the ancient near east/Irene J. Winter, Harvard University, USA. II. Field papers: 7. Patronage, authority, proprietary rights, and history: communities and pilgrimage temples in Western India/John E. Cort, Dennison University, USA. 8. Time and temples: on social and metrical antiquity/Lawrence A. Babb, Amherst College, USA. Index.
"This volume grows out of a thematic seminar on "Pilgrimage, Art and Ritual: Ethnography and Art History: sponsored by the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania and a subsequent cross-disciplinary field study, "Continuities of Religious Patronage: Pilgrimage Temples in Western India", undertaken with support from the J. Paul Getty Trust's Interpretive Research Program and affiliation with the Institute for Rajasthan Studies, Jaipur. The seminar brought together significant practitioners from several disciplines to talk about issues of carrying out fieldwork in India, speaking in personal voices about the process of using one's body and mind as a filter for direct experience.
"The contributions by Anne Feldhaus, Ann Grodzins Gold, and Richard Davis reflect their explorations not only of the culture studied but of the process of study itself. Irene J. Winter explores a methodology for using ethnographic insights from the ritual traditions of India to enliven objects from her own field, the ancient near east.
"The essays by Lawrence A. Babb, John E. Cort and Michael W. Meister, focusing on four pilgrimage temples in Rajasthan, provide preliminary explorations of the multiplicity of truths these temples in their social context represent. " (jacket)
[Michael W. Meister is Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor of the History of Art and South Asia Regional Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He has served as editor of the American Institute of Indian Studies' series, the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture, and also edited volumes on Discourses on Siva, Making Things in South Asia, and Ananda K. Coomaraswamy: Essays in Early Indian Architecture and Essays in Architectural Theory.]