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  Studies in Comparative Religion
The First English Journal on Traditional Studies - established 1963
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Type TitleAuthor/
Reviewed Author*
Author 2/
Reviewer
IssueReligion
Article
In Coomaraswamy's own words: “In the first part of this article our intention was to show that what ‘repentance’ really means is a ‘change of mind,’ and the birth of a ‘new man’ who, so far from being overwhelmed by the weight of past errors, is no longer the man who committed them; and in the second part, to outline the doctrine of the duality of mind on which the possibility of a ‘change of mind”’ depends, and to demonstrate its universality; to point out, in other words, that the notion and necessity of a metanoia are inseparably bound up with the formulation of the Philosophia Perennis wherever we find them.”
On Being in One’s Right MindCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 16, No. 3 and 4. ( Summer-Autumn, 1984) Comparative Religion
Article
Indian ArtCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 15, No. 3 and 4. ( Summer-Autumn, 1983) Hinduism
Article
The Religious Basis of the Forms of Indian SocietyCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 15, No. 1 and 2. ( Winter-Spring, 1983) Hinduism
Article
The Nature of Medieval ArtCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 15, No. 1 and 2. ( Winter-Spring, 1983) Christianity
Article
SymbolsCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 14, No. 1 and 2. ( Winter-Spring, 1980) Comparative Religion
Article
The Interpretation of SymbolsCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 14, No. 1 and 2. ( Winter-Spring, 1980) Comparative Religion
Article
Fate, Foresight, and Free-willCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 13, No. 3 and 4. ( Summer-Autumn, 1979) Comparative Religion
Article
The Bugbear of Democracy, Freedom, and EqualityCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 11, No. 3. ( Summer, 1977) Comparative Religion
Article
The Aims of Indian ArtCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 9, No. 1. ( Winter, 1975) Hinduism
Article
The Influence of Greek on Indian ArtCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 8, No. 1. ( Winter, 1974) Comparative Religion
Article
The author states that "the primary object of [this essay] is to present the Indian Flood Legend as a special case of the Patriarchal Voyage (pitryâna), and at the same time in coherent and intelligible relation with other fundamental conceptions of Vedic cosmology and eschatology. Some analogies with other traditional aspects of the Flood Legend are incidentally noted." Coomaraswamy explains various doctrines regarding time in Hindu tradition as well as the symbolism of the movement through states of being, creation, avataras, salvation, and reincarnation.
The Flood in Hindu TraditionCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 7, No. 4. ( Autumn, 1973) Hinduism
Article
What is Common to Indian and Chinese Art?Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 7, No. 2. ( Spring, 1973) Comparative Religion
Article
SymplegadesCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 7, No. 1. ( Winter, 1973) Comparative Religion
Article
In this two-part essay, A.K. Coomaraswamy sets out to prove "that our use of the term 'aesthetic' forbids us also to speak of art as pertaining to the 'higher things of life' or the immortal part of us; that the distinction of 'fine' from 'applied' art, and corresponding manufacture of art in studios and artless industry in factories, takes it for granted that neither the artist nor the artisan shall be a whole man.…" Using primarily Platonic and Hindu sources, he shows quite convincingly that modern arts education and production may result in an endless variety of arts for leisure, but that this situation encourages neither the understanding of traditional art, nor the production of arts that are "effective" in ennobling people with those "higher things of life."
“A Figure of Speech, or a Figure of Thought?” (Part 2)Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 6, No. 2. ( Spring, 1972) Platonic / Greek
Article
In this two-part essay, A.K. Coomaraswamy sets out to prove "that our use of the term 'aesthetic' forbids us also to speak of art as pertaining to the 'higher things of life' or the immortal part of us; that the distinction of 'fine' from 'applied' art, and corresponding manufacture of art in studios and artless industry in factories, takes it for granted that neither the artist nor the artisan shall be a whole man.…" Using primarily Platonic and Hindu sources, he shows quite convincingly that modern arts education and production may result in an endless variety of arts for leisure, but that this situation encourages neither the understanding of traditional art, nor the production of arts that are "effective" in ennobling people with those "higher things of life."
“A Figure of Speech, or a Figure of Thought?” (Part 1)Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 6, No. 1. ( Winter, 1972) Platonic / Greek
Article
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy explores the innocent-sounding question "Why exhibit works of art?" Beyond the task of protecting valuable relics, exhibiting works of art must have an educational purpose. In delving into the significance of this purpose, Coomaraswamy covers topics such as the vanity of much of modern art, the necessity of understanding the techniques and uses of ancient art (going beyond the limitations of our own modern psychology and aesthetics), the Platonic view of the arts, and more. This well structured discussion is an excellent primer on the Traditionalist/Perennialist view on the meaning of "art" and its proper usages in real, everyday lives outside of the confines of a museum.
Why Exhibit Works of Art?Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 5, No. 3. ( Summer, 1971) Comparative Religion
Article
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy reveals the symbolism of archery that underlies this seemingly mundane sport. He describes its original function in initiation ceremonies of disciples, across a number of traditions, as they dedicated themselves to their spiritual paths. The author sums up the essay with the observations that "one sees how in a traditional society every necessary activity can be also the Way, and that in such a society there is nothing profane; a condition the reverse of that to be seen in secular societies, where there is nothing sacred. We see that even a "sport" may also be a yoga, and [that] the active and contemplative lives, outer and inner man can be unified in a single act of being in which both selves cooperate."
The Symbolism of ArcheryCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 5, No. 2. ( Spring, 1971) Hinduism
Article
Ananda Coomaraswamy relates a variety of myths concerning Khwaja Khadir in both Indian and Persian stories which he traces back to the more ancient traditions from the Koran; the Elijah, Alexander, St. George and Gilgamesh legend; and to Sumeria and the Rig Vedas. “Khizr [i.e. Khadir] is at home in both worlds, the dark and the light, but above all master of the flowing River of Life in the Land of Darkness: he is at once the guardian and genius of vegetation and of the Water of Life, and corresponds to Soma and Gandharva in Vedic mythology, and in many respects to Varuna himself.”
Khawaja Khadir and the Fountain of LifeCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 4, No. 4. ( Autumn, 1970) Islam
Article
Despite the changing style of art, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy defends the universality and consistency of iconography and symbolism. Coomaraswamy discusses instances in art where a deified woman offers her milk to a supplicant. This motif signifies an adoption and therefore a deification of the recipient, specifically in the case of the Virgin Mary and St. Bernard. These examples are paralleled with other iconographic motifs that represent the attainment of the highest spiritual station—“adoption” to divine filiation, and thus to deification. In order to understand the greater spiritual meanings of these symbols in art, one must have knowledge beyond the evolving styles of art so that the picture can be transcended and meaning can be discovered in its greater context of spiritual lessons.
The Virgin Suckling St. BernardCoomaraswamy, Ananda K. Vol. 4, No. 3. ( Summer, 1970) Christianity
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