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Rapt in the Name: The Ramnamis, Ramnam, and Untouchable Religion in Central India Paperback – July, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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"

From the Back Cover

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 its devotional 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: SUNY Series in Hindu Studies
  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791453863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791453865
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,244,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Only a person with deep personal experience can write such an insightful analysis of faith as a pillar of strength among the oppressed. Ramdas Lamb has given us a spiritually uplifting account of one pointed devotion and the lives of the Untouchables. I am grateful to have read about the development of Ramnam. I am a recipient of a Ram mantra and while many might see this book as an academic work I have gained a more profound understanding of the mantra's meaning which facilitates my practice. The writing itself is clear even for someone not familiar with Indian philosophy and culture. Highly recommended.
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