This presentation examines the worship of stones from Mount Govardhan, a sacred hill in north-central India. Particular emphasis will be given to the anthropomorphic ritual process of dressing the revered stones and adding a face to them for the purpose of establishing and enhancing intimate relationships with them. Consideration will be given to the difference between such anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism. The ornamentation of stones will be illustrated with the use of powerpoint slides.
David L. Haberman is Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University Bloomington and author of several scholarly articles and books, including Journey Through the Twelve Forests: An Encounter with Krishna (Oxford University Press, 1994), River of Love in an Age of Pollution: The Yamuna River of Northern India (University of California Press, 2006), and People Trees: Worship of Trees in Northern India (Oxford University Press, 2013). His interests, research, and teaching include human conceptions of and interactions with the nonhuman world as well as the manner in which religious worldviews shape human attitudes and behavior toward the environment and nonhuman world and deep ecology.
This talk is part of a roundtable speaker series sponsored by the Indiana University Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society. The talk is co-sponsored by the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute.