About the Book
Tantric Revisionings presents stimulating new perspectives on Hindu and Buddhist religion, particularly their Tantric versions, in India, Tibet or in modern Western societies. Geoffrey Samuel adopts an historically and textually informed anthropological approach, seeking to locate and understand religion in its social and cultural context. The question of the relation between 'popular' (folk, domestic, village, 'shamanic') religion and elite (literary, textual, monastic) religion forms a recurring theme through these studies. Six chapters have not been previously published; the previously published studies included are in publications which are difficult to locate outside major specialist libraries.
About the Author: Geoffrey Samuel is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Newcastle, NSW. After training in physics at Oxford, he undertook a PhD in social anthropology at Cambridge, carrying out field research on religion and society with Tibetans in Nepal and India in 1971-72. Subsequent fieldwork has included several further research trips to India, Nepal and Tibet, and shorter visits to other Asian societies. He joined the University of Newcastle in 1978 after teaching in the UK, New Zealand and Queensland. From 1995 to 1997, he was Professor of Religious Studies at Lancaster University, where he remains an Honorary Professor. He returned to Australia in 1998. His publications include two books, Mind, Body and Culture: Anthropology and the Biological Interface (1990) and Civilized Shamans: Buddhism in Tibetan Societies (1993). He edited Tantra and Popular Religion in Tibet (1994, with Hamish Gregor and Elisabeth Stutchbury), Nature Religion Today (1998, with Joanne Pearson and Richard H. Roberts), and Healing Powers and Modernity: Traditional Medicine, Shamanism, and Science in Asian Societies (2001, with Linda Connor).