Ala Coomaraswamy
Imtiaz Ahmad
STRUCTURE AND COGNITION; AS¬PFCTS OF HINDU CASTE AND RITUAL by Veena Das Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1977, 147 pp., 45.00
March-April 1979, volume 3, No 5

This is one of those books that puts a reviewer in a dilemma. It is so promi­sing in its design and intent that one is tempted to characterize it as a near clas­sic, but in its execution it leaves one dissatisfied. Of course, to say this is not to criticize the book, but merely to sug­gest the level that the book could have attained.

The book is made of four chapters, two of which had appeared previously in the form of papers while the remain­ing two are published here for the first time. The chapters entitled ‘On the Cate­gories Brahman, King and Sanyasi’ and ‘Of Jatis’ have been published here for the first time. The chapters entitled ‘Con­cept of Space’ and ‘The Sacred and the Profane in Hinduism’ appeared previously and have been reprinted here with slight modification. The author’s introduction traces the broad unity that runs through the different chapters and outlines the principal theoretical thrust of the essays considered as a whole.

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