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Virtuosity, Charisma and Social Order
A Comparative Sociological Study of Monasticism in Theravada Buddhism and Medieval Catholicism

$57.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Cultural Social Studies

  • Date Published: October 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521021371

$ 57.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This is a comparative study of the interaction between monasticism and society in Theravada Buddhism and medieval Catholicism. Building on Weber's classical analysis of religious virtuosity on one hand, and opposing recent comparative historical sociology's neglect of structures of meaning on the other, the author demonstrates the combined impact of religious orientations, macrosocietal structures, and virtuoso radicalism in shaping the ideological power of religious elites in the historical framework of the Great Traditions.

    • Latest title in the groundbreaking Cultural and Social Studies series
    • Highly original comparative study of a topical subject
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...a learned analysis....Silber's book should quickly become a classic in comparative religious research and deserves a place on the syllabus of any graduate course in the field." Sociology of Religion

    "...Silber's account is largely convincing, and her intention can only be applauded. The book will be essential reading for those interested in Weberian scholarship, especially for its conceptualization of religious virtuosity and its treatment of the "worldly facets of otherworldly religious orientations." For specialists in medieval Christianity and Theravada Buddhism the book offers an insightful and provocative interpretation of the literature. Moreover, sociologists of culture will find a stimulating empirical exploration of the issues involved in the relation between culture and structure." American Journal of Sociology

    "...Silber's analysis of the material raises new theoretical questions and suggests some cogent answers. ...well-worth attending to. An important contribution to comparative historical sociology." Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521021371
    • length: 264 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.402kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Virtuosi and Society: Elements of Macrosociological Approach:
    1. The Weberian legacy
    2. Monasticism and social order: a multidimensional perspective: Part II. Virtuosi asnd Society in Theravada Buddhism:
    3. Ideological groundings: hierarchy and ritualized exchange
    4. Virtuosity institutionalized
    The Sangha in Social Context
    5. Virtuoso radicalism: the triumph of a syndrome
    Part III. Virtuosi and Society in Medieval Catholicism:
    6. Ideological groundings: plurality and conditional exchange
    7. Virtuosity institutionalized: monasticism in social context
    8. Virtuoso radicalism: a self-defeating triumph
    Part IV. Virtuosity, Charisma and Social Order:
    9. Virtuosity and the virtuoso-society syndrome
    10. The virtuoso syndrome in comparative historical perspective

  • Author

    Ilana Friedrich Silber

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