Religious Endowments in First-Millennium India: Lecture by Timothy Lubin

Timothy Lubin delivered the 6th C. R. Parekh Memorial Lecture on ‘Religious Endowments in First-Millennium India’. It was chaired by Kumkum Roy. The lecture was organized by Institute of Indian Thought, CSDS.


Giving to worthy recipients has been meritorious public piety in India at least since Aśoka. Most consequential were gifts in perpetuity of land or capital as a “religious foundation” (dharmadāna, brahmadeya, agrahāra, devadāna) for monks or Brahmins, conferred by means of a decree or charter (śāsana, sthiti).  In these records, rulers cede their claims to certain normal obligations of subjects, e.g., to pay taxes and levies, to provide compulsory labor, or to provide access or provisions to officers of the state; some even gave beneficiaries authority over internal legal affairs.  This lecture will discuss the implications of the fiscal and juridical autonomy conferred in such grants.

Timothy Lubin is the Jessie Ball duPont Professor of Religion at Washington and Lee University.  He studies the history of religion and law in South and Southeast Asia.  In 2020-21, he has been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and of the US National Endowment for the Humanities.

Kumkum Roy taught ancient Indian history at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her areas of interest include histories of political institutions and processes, and issues of gender. 

Tuesday, 7 December 2021, 7 pm, Zoom