Louis Dumont: Verdensforsagelse, hierarki og renhed

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This brief article reviews two main contributions by the French sociologist Louis Dumont, his essay “World Renunciation in Indian Religions” and his major work on the Indian caste system, Homo Hierarchicus. Some of the cri-tique of Dumont’s ideas about renunciation, hierarchy and purity is discussed with special focus on three points: (1) The creative role of renunciation in the history of Hin-duism; (2) the Indian caste system as a hierarchy regulated according to ritual purity and the alternative model by A. M. Hocart of the Indian society as a ritual organization; and (3) theoretical discussions regarding the need to go beyond the purity-impurity dichotomy and integrate another opposition, that between the auspicious and the inaus-picious, in order to develop a more precise analytical tool in the research of Hindu cul-ture.
Article number2
JournalReligionsvidenskabeligt Tidsskrift
Pages (from-to)20-31
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2018