Understanding The Hindu Temple: History, Symbols And Forms

Tiziana Lorenzetti
Understanding The Hindu Temple:  History, Symbols And Forms
Studies in Asian Art and Culture Volume 2, Julia A. B. Hegewald, ed.
EB-Verlag, Berlin, 2015.
ISBN: 978-3-86893-164-8

This excellent and fundamental study by Dr. Tiziana Lorenzetti visualises the enormous complexities surrounding the Hindu temple, provides a comprehensive and thought-provoking introduction to the diverse aspects shaping the sacred architecture of the Hindus and offers the reader a key with which to unlock the problems of interpreting the statues and great sacred temple monuments of India.

This timely monograph by Tiziana Lorenzetti is a translation and carefully revised and extended edition of her very successful book in Italian on the Hindu temple (Il tempio induista: Struttura e simboli. ISIAO, 2007), which is still the first and only publication to make this complex material available to an Italian speaking readership. The latest edition makes her insight and fare-reaching conclusions available to an English audience too. Following her previous approach, the English version has also been written for the general reader, particularly for students of Indian art, and represents a perfect teaching tool. The study provides a gradual introduction to the multiple and often profoundly complex levels of meaning, associated with Hindu temple architecture. By employing clear plain language, explaining terms and concepts in straightforward ways and providing helpful graphics and photographs, the author offers a methodical, easily accessible and lucid approach to extremely complex and multi-layered material.

In this wide-ranging book, Dr. Lorenzetti makes important interventions in a number of continuing debates surrounding the Hindu temple. Her systematic analysis is particularly concerned with the multiple symbolic and sacred meanings of temple edifices. In order to illustrate and elucidate these metaphysical levels, she makes ample reference to philosophical texts and religious treatises on architecture. Through this, she succeeds in linking the architectural and visual with the textual traditions of India.

Table of Contents

Foreword
by Prof. Dr. Julia A. B. Hegewald

Acknowledgements

Introduction

Chapter 1:  The Hindu Temple as the Image of the Universe
 
Chapter 2:  Precursors: Early Indian Sacred Architecture

Chapter 3:  Styles and Shapes

Chapter 4:  Of Gods and Temple Decorations: Nuances, Manifest and Hidden

Chapter 5:  The Hindu Temple as a Multifunctional Place

Thematic Bibliography

Glossary

List of Illustrations

Index

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