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By Francis X. Clooney

Examines texts and commentaries within the Tamil-language SArivastradition of South India; in regards to the normal problems with textual content, imaginative and prescient, and narrative that such texts bring up, and concerning the implications of those for a specific type of comparative theology.

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Additional resources for Seeing Through Texts: Doing Theology Among the Srivaisnavas of South India (S U N Y Series, Toward a Comparative Philosophy of Religions)

Example text

His songs offer many different perspectives on Visnu*as manifest in transcendent glory, as creating, controlling and destroying the universe, as present in various descents (avataras*, especially as Krsna*, Rama* and Vamana* the dwarf), at holy places such as Tiruvenkatam* (more commonly referred to as Tirupati), Kurukur* (the present day Alvartirunagari*), Srivilliputtur and Srirangam*, and as dwelling within every person. The songs also represent different personae in relation to Visnu: the humble devotee, the lover from the beginning intermingled with the lord, the young woman in love with her absent lover, the visionary seeing devotees on their way to heaven, the thinker who wonders whether even "Visnu" is a good word to indicate the transcendent Visnu.

2011 18:00:56] next page > page_13 < previous page page_13 next page > Page 13 ation of the text as a literary whole until that future date when the context is exactly understood. This study takes the swifter path, engaging Tiruvaymoli *as an integral literary document possessed of its own dynamics as a work of literature, with its own style of interaction with its readers. None of which features can be ignored merely in favor of understanding its components in relation to components of other earlier and contemporary texts.

2011 18:01:01] next page > page_32 < previous page page_32 next page > Page 32 1-6 introduce Maturakavi, the first person singer, and Satakopan *, "the lord of Kurukur*," and indicate the intense commitment of the former to the latter: In place of my Father, the great marvellous one who had himself tied with the knotted, slender cord, I now draw near and speak of the lord of southern Kurukur, and it flows as ambrosia, my tongue's delight. (1) I have gained the pleasure of praising him with my tongue; I enjoy his golden feet, truly, I know no other gods; I wander, singing the sweet melodious songs of the lord of Kurukur.

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