The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodhgaya: Constructing Sacred Placeness, Deconstructing the 'Great Case' of 1895
Nikhil Joshi
  • ISBN 13 : 9789388540308
  • year : 2019
  • language : English
  • binding : Hardbound
The Mahbodhi Temple investigates the historic and ethnographic accounts of the ongoing religious contestations over the status of the Mahbodhi Temple complex in Bodhgay (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 Mahbodhi Temple and its surroundings. The volume argues that sacredness goes beyond scriptural texts and archaeological remains. The Mahbodhi 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 Mahbodhi 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.