Dharma and the enjoined subject: Jaimini’s Mīmāṃsāsūtras and the study of ritual

Ngaihte, Samuel (2018) Dharma and the enjoined subject: Jaimini’s Mīmāṃsāsūtras and the study of ritual. PhD thesis, Middlesex University / Oxford Centre for Mission Studies.

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Abstract

This thesis is an enquiry into the conception of dharma by Jaimini in his Mīmāṃsāsūtras with the aim of arguing for its contemporary relevance, particularly for the scholarship on ritual. It seeks to do this by offering a hermeneutical re-reading of the text, primarily by investigating the theme of the relationship between subjectivity and tradition in the discussion about dharma, and bringing it into conversation with contemporary discourses on ritual.
The central argument that is proposed in this thesis, based on this re-reading, is that Jaimini’s conception of dharma can be read as a philosophy of Vedic practice that is centred on the enjoinment of the subject, whose stages of transformation can be seen to possess the structure of a hermeneutic tradition. This argument, which places subjectivity and tradition at the heart of the explanation of Vedic practice, is then discussed with the scholarship on ritual in order to indicate its contemporary relevance.
Therefore, the explication of the central argument, which is based upon the insights gleaned from this hermeneutical re-reading of Jaimini’s Mīmāṃsāsūtras, will be broken down into two main aims. The first aim will attempt to demonstrate that the significance of Jaiminian enquiry lies in its conception of dharma as an embodied traditionary practice that possesses the structure of a hermeneutic tradition. The second aim will attempt to demonstrate that this re-reading of Jaimini’s enquiry can offer both substantive and methodological insights to the contentions within the contemporary study of ritual. Jaimini’s conception of dharma enables me to introduce the notion of subjectivity at the heart of the explanation of ritual and allows the possibility of re-imagining a way beyond the reductionist explanations of ritual in contemporary scholarship.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Oxford Centre for Mission Studies
Item ID: 25912
Depositing User: Vimal Shah
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2019 13:51
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 18:59
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/25912

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