By Vincent L. Wimbush, Richard Valantasis
From meditation and fasting to celibacy and anchoritism, the ascetic impulse has been a permanent and intricate phenomenon all through background. delivering a sweeping view of this elusive and debatable point of non secular existence and tradition, Asceticism appears to be like on the ascetic impulse from a different vantage element. Cross-cultural, cross-religious, and multidisciplinary in nature, those essays offer a large ancient and comparative standpoint on asceticism--a topic not often studied outdoors the context of person spiritual traditions. The paintings represents the enter of greater than 40 preeminent students in a variety of fields and disciplines, and analyzes asceticism from antiquity to the current in ecu, close to jap, African, Asian, and North American settings. Asceticism is geared up round 4 significant issues that lower throughout non secular traditions: origins and meanings of asceticism, which explores the motivations and impulses at the back of ascetic behaviors; hermeneutics of asceticism, which appears at texts and rhetorics and their presuppositions; aesthetics of asceticism, which files responses evoked by way of ascetic impulses and practices, in addition to the humanities of ascetic practices themselves; and politics of asceticism, which analyzes the ability dynamics of asceticism, particularly as regards gender, cultural, and ethnic alterations. severe responses to the foremost papers make sure the concentration upon the subjects and unify the dialogue. common addresses on vast philosophical and historical-interpretive concerns recommend the significance of the topic of asceticism for wide-ranging yet critical cultural-critical discussions. An Appendix, Ascetica Miscellanea, comprises six brief papers on provocative themes no longer with regards to the 4 significant subject matters, and a panel dialogue at the practices and meanings of asceticism in modern non secular lifestyles and tradition. a specific bibliography and an index also are integrated. the single accomplished reference paintings on asceticism with a multicultural, multireligious, and multidisciplinary viewpoint, Asceticism bargains a version not just for an realizing of a most crucial measurement of non secular lifestyles, but additionally for destiny interdisciplinary learn regularly.