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Much Ado about Religion (Clay Sanskrit Library) Bilingual Edition

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814719794
ISBN-10: 0814719791
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Editorial Reviews


“The Clay Sanskrit Library represents one of the most admirable publishing projects now afoot. . . . Anyone who loves the look and feel and heft of books will delight in these elegant little volumes.”
-New Criterion

“Published in the geek-chic format.”

“Very few collections of Sanskrit deep enough for research are housed anywhere in North America. Now, twenty-five hundred years after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha, the ambitious Clay Sanskrit Library may remedy this state of affairs.”

“The books line up on my shelf like bright Bodhisattvas ready to take tough questions or keep quiet company. They stake out a vast territory, with works from two millennia in multiple genres: aphorism, lyric, epic, theater, and romance.”
-Willis G. Regier,The Chronicle Review

“No effort has been spared to make these little volumes as attractive as possible to readers: the paper is of high quality, the typesetting immaculate. The founders of the series are John and Jennifer Clay, and Sanskritists can only thank them for an initiative intended to make the classics of an ancient Indian language accessible to a modern international audience.”
-The Times Higher Education Supplement

From the Publisher


Product Details

  • Series: Clay Sanskrit Library
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press; Bilingual edition (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814719791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814719794
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.5 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,291,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I recently learned of an outstanding series of books modeled after the Loeb Library series of Greek and Roman Classics that allows readers to become acquainted with another source of ancient writing. Founded in the 1990's, the Clay Sanskrit Library has now published over 50 volumes of classical Indian literature. The pocket-sized volumes include Sanskrit texts in Roman script together with a new English translation on the facing page, much like the Loeb volumes. The volumes include scholarly notes on the texts and some guides to the Sanskrit. But the major use of these volumes will be to introduce the literature to interested lay readers who lack Sanskrit. I am interested in the series because I have been studying Buddhism for several years.

I selected this volume, a play called "Much Ado about Religion" for my introduction to the series based on the short summary on the Clay series website. The play discusses conflicts among religious teachings in a culture in which several divergent religions need to live side by side. The play also discusses the implications of religious conflict in an attempt to understand religious truth.

The play dates from about 880 - 900 C.E. and is set in Kashmir. The author, Bhatta Jayanta, was a prodigious and brilliant scholar who composed several logical treatises. He was an orthodox follower of the Vedas in his religious beliefs and was close to the ruler of the time and place, King Shankara-varman, who in the passage of time does not come down with a strong reputation for either wise leadership or for religious toleration. An introduction to the play by the translator, Csaba Dezso, provides sufficient historical background to understand the work.

The play is in four acts, with each act proceeded by a prologue.
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Format: Hardcover
Congratulations to Clay Sanskrit Library for this new editions of Sanskrit Classics. I didn't think anyone would be interested in Sanskrit literature these days, where even Latin and ancient Greek disappears from our universities. So the effort to publish these volumes is totally amazing.

To present roman transliteration instead of Devanagari script is OK, since many readers might be too "shocked" to read the wonderful, artistic Devanagari letters, even though it is not too difficult to learn. (Sanskrit is most difficult of course, but to learn the pronunciation of the letters is little more than an intellectual challenge, that can be mastered in a couple of days or weeks at most). Looking forward to many more volumes in this series !!!

And how about a link on the web, where to find these classics in Devanagari script?!
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