Abstract/Details

Disorienting Dharma: Ethics and the poetics of suffering in the “Mahābhārata”


2006 2006

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

The Sanskrit Mahābhārata, one of the longest narratives ever composed, is a notoriously difficult text. Indeed, stories about its "knots," or complicated passages, is part of the epic tradition. In this dissertation, I develop and implement a method for locating meaning, particularly religious and ethical meaning, in the epic that focuses not on hermeneutics, but rather on aesthetics. Drawing from Sanskrit poetics and Euro-American reader-response theory, I argue that the epic conveys its messages predominantly through its "narrative strategies." On my use of the term, a narrative strategy refers to the complex interaction between the form and content of the text, and their impact on a reader or listener. Through the deployment of its narrative strategies, I contend that the Mahābhārata makes a specific argument about the existence of suffering, the forces that cause it, and the processes that lead to its elimination. Ultimately, my goal is to show that an exploration of the Mahābhārata 's narrative strategies is generative not only for thinking about how the epic conveys its ethical and religious messages, but also for developing a new method in the study of religion for locating meaning in complex literary texts both belonging to and extending beyond the South Asian religious tradition(s).

Indexing (details)


Subject
Religious history;
Asian literature
Classification
0320: Religious history
0305: Asian literature
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Language, literature and linguistics; Ethics; Hindu; Mahabharata; Narrative; Poetics; Suffering
Title
Disorienting Dharma: Ethics and the poetics of suffering in the “Mahābhārata”
Author
Hudson, Emily T.
Number of pages
291
Publication year
2006
Degree date
2006
School code
0665
Source
DAI-A 67/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780542876448
Advisor
Patton, Laurie L.
University/institution
Emory University
University location
United States -- Georgia
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3234026
ProQuest document ID
304941237
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304941237
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.