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Richard H. Davis
Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-9800)
Dialogues with Krishna: The Bhagavad Gita in Great Time

I request an NEH College Teacher Fellowship for completion of a book-length historical study of the life of the Bhagavad Gita, both in its own compositional setting and as it has been received, re-situated, and reemployed by later listeners and readers in medieval and modern times. Composed around the start of the Common Era, the Bhagavad Gita is the best known of all Hindu religious texts, and it has deeply engaged audiences in India and in the West over many centuries. My aim in "Dialogues with Krishna" is to present a selective history of the ways Krishna's dialogue with Arjuna recorded in the Bhagavad Gita has spoken to audiences in its own time and over subsequent centuries. Through sustained examination of a series of dialogues of later listeners and readers with this particular religious work, both within its own religious tradition and beyond, I seek to make a contribution to the way we view the interpretation of long-lived religious works generally.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
Nonwestern Religion

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2011 – 6/30/2012