A Varied Collection
by Martin Brandtner , , pp.,
October 2006, volume 30, No 10

These essays have been put together in honour of Professor Hermann Kulke, one of the finest historians of his generation of pre-modern India. Although Kulke’s list of publications covers many aspects of the history of India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, he is particularly known for his contribution to the study of regional state formation and construction of regional identities in early medieval India. His ‘concentric integration’ model that suggests three stages in a continuous process of state formation from a nuclear core territory to the imperial regional state was a major advance on the hegemonic feudal state model, and his monumental study of the cult of Jagannatha and the regional tradition of Orissa remains one of the best examples of an interdisciplinary work of its kind that highlights the origin, development and organization of a regional tradition. Professor Kulke eminently deserves a felicitation volume. The book is divided into three parts, the first of which is on historiography. It contains a short piece on Kulke’s contribution to the study of Indian history by the two editors of the volume. Unfortunately, it is more descriptive than evaluative. However, there is interesting information on his personal involvement with India.

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