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The Indian Temple -- Production, Place and Patronage

  • Dr. Michael Willis
Thursday 24 November 2016
Lecture series Society of Friends of the Kern Institute (VVIK)
Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 3
2311 BZ Leiden
104 (The Verbarium)

The Indian Temple -- Production, Place and Patronage Temples dominated the institutional world of India
between seventh and thirteenth centuries. Protected by kings and widely supported by tax exemptions and gifts of land, temples enjoyed ascendancy as centres of religious life, economic power and artistic production. The process began during the time of Gupta kings in the fifth century, but the culmination came with the late medieval dynasties, most notably in the eleventh century. In this presentation, Dr Willis will take the example the Paramāra dynasty of central India, examining the ruins of their imperial centre, and the distribution of Paramāra medieval temples across the central Indian landscape.




Dr Michael Willis (The British Museum, London) is a historian with special interests in South Asia, Tibet and the Middle East. He is the Principal Investigator of the ERC project Asia Beyond Boundaries: Religion, Region,
Language and the State, for which he is examining the formation of political and cultural networks in the fourth and fifth centuries CE. He has a particular interest in religious orders, monasteries and temples, and the endowments that were established to support these institutions. He has published extensively, including a monograph on Hindu ritual and the development of temples as land-holding institutions, The Archaeology of Hindu Ritual: Temples and the Establishment of the Gods (2009).

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