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Imagining Karma – Ethical Transformation in Amerindian, Buddhist, and Greek Rebirth - California Scholarship Online
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Imagining Karma: Ethical Transformation in Amerindian, Buddhist, and Greek Rebirth

Gananath Obeyesekere


This book embarks on a comparison of rebirth concepts across a wide range of cultures. Exploring in rich detail the beliefs of small-scale societies of West Africa, Melanesia, traditional Siberia, Canada, and the northwest coast of North America, the book compares their ideas with those of the ancient and modern Indic civilizations and with the Greek rebirth theories of Pythagoras, Empedocles, Pindar, and Plato. This discussion decenters the popular notion that India was the origin and locus of ideas of rebirth. As the book compares responses to the most fundamental questions of human existenc ... More

Keywords: rebirth concepts, India, death, cosmology, morality, eschatology, reincarnation, family resemblances

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2002 Print ISBN-13: 9780520232204
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520232204.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gananath Obeyesekere, author