An Anchronistic Reformer?
Jonathan Paul Sydnor
FROM HAGIOGRAPHIES TO BIOGRAPHIES: RÂMÂNUJA IN TRADITION AND HISTORY by Ranjeeta Dutta Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2015, 248 pp., 895
March 2015, volume 39, No 3

What is the relationship between hagiography and biography? For too long scholars have simplistically associated hagiography with sacred legend and biography with secular science. Hagiography was the stuff of myth, uncritically received and vigorously perpetuated. Biography is the Enlightenment challenger, demanding studious doubt and reasoned revision. In the West we have set biography against hagiography, JEPDH against Moses, the Historical Jesus against the Christ of Faith—and insufficiently questioned our categories of understanding.

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