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Title : The Mahābodhi Temple at Bodhgayā: Constructing Sacred Placeness, Deconstructing the ‘Great Case’ of 1895
Author : Nikhil Joshi
Edition : HardBack
ISBN : 9789388540308
Pages : 492
Year of Pub : 2019
Price : Rs 2,495.00
The Mahābodhi Temple investigates the historic and ethnographic accounts of the ongoing religious contestations over the status of the Mahābodhi Temple complex in Bodhgayā (a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002) and its surrounding landscape to critically analyse the working and construction (and re-construction) of sacredness. It endeavours to make a ground-up assessment of ways in which human participants in the past and present respond to and interact with the Mahābodhi Temple and its surroundings.
The volume argues that sacredness goes beyond scriptural texts and archaeological remains. The Mahābodhi Temple complex and its surround­ing landscape is a ‘living’ heritage, which has been produced socially and constitutes differential densities of human involvement, attachment, and experience. Its significance lies mainly in the active interaction between religious architecture within its dynamic ritual settings. This endless con­testation of sacredness and its meaning should not be seen as the ‘death’ of the Mahābodhi Temple; on the contrary, it illustrates the vitality of the ongoing debate on the meaning, understanding, and use of the sacred in the Indian context.
Nikhil Joshi is a Research Fellow in the Department of Architecture at National University of Singapore. Educated at the University of Pune, University of York, and National University of Singapore, he is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, UK, and recipient of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings Lethaby Scholarship, UK. His other recent publications include Managing Change: Urban Heritage and Community Development in Historic Asian Cities (2018, edited), Community Voices: Preserving the Local Heritage (2016), and People + Places: Exploring the Living Heritage of Songkhla Old Town (2016, edited).


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