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Holy Tears


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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xi Introduction by Kimberley Christine Patton and John Stratton Hawley 1 The Poetics and Politics of Ritualized Weeping in Early and Medieval Japan by Gary L. Ebersole 25 Productive Tears: Weeping Speech, Water, and the Underworld in Mexica Tradition by Kay Almere Read 52 "Why Do Your Eyes Not Run Like a River?" Ritual Tears in Ancient and Modern Greek Funerary Traditions by Gay Ord Pollock Lynch 67 "Sealing the Book with Tears": Divine Weeping on Mount Nebo and in the Warsaw Ghetto by Rabbi Nehemia Polen 83 The Gopis Tears by John Stratton Hawley 94 Hsuan-tsang's Encounter with the Buddha: A Cloud of Philosophy in a Drop of Tears by Malcolm David Eckel 112 Weeping in Classical Sufism by William C. Chittick 132 "No Power of Speech Remains": Tears and Transformation in South Asian Majlis Poetry by Amy Bard 145 {{Ecedil}}ku{{nacute}} I yawo: Bridal Tears in Marriage Rites of Passage among the oyo-Yoruba of Nigeria by Jacob K. OluponA with S{{ocedl}}la Ajibade 165 A Love for All Seasons: Weeping in Jewish Sources by Herbert W. Basser 178 "Pray with Tears and Your Request Will Find a Hearing": On the Iconology of the Magdalene's Tears by Diane Apostolos-Cappadona 201 Tears and Screaming: Weeping in the Spirituality of Margery Kempe by Santha Bhattacharji 229 "An Obscure Matter": The Mystery of Tears in Orthodox Spirituality by Bishop Kallistos Ware 242 "Howl, Weep and Moan, and Bring It Back to God": Holy Tears in Eastern Christianity by Kimberley Christine Patton 255 "Send Thou Me": God's Weeping and the Sanctification of Ground Zero by Reverend Betsee Parker 274 Epilogue: Tikkun ha-olam 301 INDEX 303 CONTRIBUTORS 313

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Fascinating and original, Holy Tears is impressively coherent and should be compelling both to scholars of religion and to cultured readers who normally don't go in for religious themes. It is a model of comparative method in the study of religion, conveying, with all the delight of discovery, many parallels, analogues, and 'braided' similarities in the way religious weeping is understood in different settings while successfully avoiding the 'stuffed birds in a natural history museum' approach. I can't recall the last time I read a comparative or thematic book so rich in ethnographic, mytholog

About the Author

Kimberley Christine Patton is Professor of the Comparative and Historical Study of Religion at Harvard Divinity School. She is the author of "Religion of the Gods: Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity" (Oxford, forthcoming) and is coeditor and a contributing author of "A Magic Still Dwells: Comparative Religion in a Postmodern Age" (California). John Stratton Hawley is Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Religion at Barnard College, Columbia University. Two of his early books--"Krishna, the Butter Thief" and "At Play with Krishna"--were published by Princeton University Press.


"A top-notch roster of scholars has produced an exceptional collection of essays, breaking new and fruitful ground in the study of religion... Contributors continually test the far-from-simple relationship between crying and emotion, and carefully probe the complicated meshing of personal history with collective memory."--Choice

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