Rethinking Bihar and Bengal: History, Culture and Religion
This book is a collection of some of the published papers of the author, published mostly abroad, and unravels some significant yet hitherto neglected aspects of history, culture and religion of Bihar and Bengal: two areas that were connected through an intricate network of rivers. Themes looked into are: early historic urbanisation in the Mithilā plains of North Bihar; the social history of Brahmanical religious institutions (temples and Ma]thas) in early medieval Bihar and Bengal; the social history of Buddhist monasticism in early medieval Bihar and Bengal; the integration of a local goddess into the institutional fabric of Mahayana Buddhism; the survival of Buddhism in the thirteenth and fourteenth century ad; pilgrimage from Central India and Deccan to a Hindu pilgrimage centre of Bihar in the medieval period; and the debate on the Islamisation of medieval eastern Bengal. About the Author Birendra Nath Prasad is Assistant Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where he teaches social history of religion in India and Southeast Asia. His publications include Monasteries, Shrines and Society: Buddhist and Brahmanical Religious Institutions in India in their Socio-Economic Context (edited, Delhi, 2011); Buddhism in a Poly-Religious Context: An Archaeological History of Buddhist, Brahmanical and Jaina Religious Centres in Early Medieval Bihar and Bengal (Delhi, 2021); Social History of Indian Buddhism: New Researches (edited, Delhi, 2021, forthcoming), and many peer-reviewed research articles in prestigious international journals such as Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies (Oxford), Buddhist Studies Review (London), Religions of South Asia (London/Sheffield) and Berlin Indological Studies.