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Forms and the Becoming of a Deity in Religious Traditions
The God Viṣṇu-Nārāyaṇa

Datum: 24.–26. Mai 2012
Ort: Zentrum für Asienwissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 (Erdgeschoß)
Apostelgasse 23, 1030 Wien
Lageplan
Organisation: Marcus Schmücker

Programm/Programme

Thema/Topic

The religious identity and the formation of the Śrī Vaiṣṇava tradition have been based on the belief in a single highest God, i.e. Viṣṇu-Nārāyaṇa. Nevertheless, it is difficult to speak of a uniformly contained development. The double name of Viṣṇu-Nārāyaṇa is preceded by a complex history of ideas that have resulted in various traditions of worship, authoritative sources, etc. To understand this intricate development, the following questions may be asked: Why and under which presuppositions can one speak of the one god Viṣṇu-Nārāyaṇa in the different traditions? How does the self-understanding in the various religious traditions reveal the tendency to follow one God? In what contexts is the superiority of the God Nārāyaṇa clearly seen and what is this based upon? How is syno­nymity with the God Viṣṇu reflected? How (in earlier stages of development) are myths and descriptions of Viṣṇu/Nārāyaṇa used to prove this superiority? How has the language used to describe Nārāyaṇa changed? How did ritual practices/worship develop, and why and under what influences did they become more important? Is it possible to compare the religious self-understanding of later Viśiṣṭādvaita practitioners to earlier stages of Viṣṇuism?

As these questions suggest, it is also necessary to examine earlier traditions relevant for the development of notions concerning a highest being that were relied upon by later theological and philosophical thinkers. In examining the development of the belief in a single highest God, the symposium participants will not only focus on the manifold sources in the building of a tradition, but will also deal with the increasing religiosity founded in beliefs concerning a personal god.

Vortragende/Participants

  • Gerard Colas
  • Marzenna Czerniak-Droźdźowicz
  • Erin McCann
  • Gerhard Oberhammer
  • Marion Rastelli
  • Charlotte Schmid
  • Marcus Schmücker
  • Peter Schreiner
  • Eva Wilden
  • Katherine Young
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Öster­reichi­sche Aka­demie der Wissen­schaften
Institut für Kultur- und Geistes­geschichte Asiens
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