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Timothy Lubin
Washington and Lee University (Lexington, VA 24450-2116)

Research Programs

[Grant products]

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2020 – 6/30/2021

Hindu Law and the Brahmin Class on the Peripheries of India, 300 BCE - 1000 CE

Research and writing leading to a book on the history of Hindu law and the Brahmin class in south and southeast Asia, covering the years 300 BCE to 1000 CE.

The proposed research is the culminating phase of a monographic project that offers a new conceptual model to account for the development and spread of classical Hindu law, and in particular of Brahmin authority (both sacred and worldly), roughly between 300 BCE and 1000 CE. My analysis shows how the doctrinal ideal of the disciplined householder as an ascetic-in-the-world provided a basis for treating Brahmin communities as comparable in holiness and authority to monastic orders. This principle justified Brahmins receiving patronage in the form of tax-free endowments and helped secure their families high social status by birth. Over the twelve months of the fellowship, I will finish the research and writing of the last three chapters of the book, which deal with the appropriation and transformation of this normative model on the peripheries beyond the north Indian “middle country”: in the Himalayan hills and Bengal, in the Tamil south, and in Indonesia.