Monday, April 04, 2005


Widespread caste in northern India whose hereditary occupation is tanning leather; the name is derived from the Sanskrit word carmakara, or “skin worker.” The more than 150 subcastes are characterized by well-organized panchayats (governing councils). Because their work obliged them to handle dead animals, the Camars have suffered from the stigma of being considered

Sunday, April 03, 2005


The Vedic, Brahmanic, and Upanishadic conceptions of priesthood and the predominance of the Brahman caste in Hinduism are discussed in Arthur Berriedale Keith, The Religion and Philosophy of the Veda and Upanishads, 2 vol. (1925, reprinted 1989); S. Radhakrishnan, The Hindu View of Life (1927, reissued 1980), and Eastern Religions and Western Thought, 2nd ed. (1940, reissued 1991); J.H. Hutton, Caste in India, 2nd ed. (1951); and R.C. Zaehner, Hinduism (1962, reissued 1977), with a full bibliography. C.J. Fuller, Servants of the Goddess: The Priests of a South Indian Temple (1984), analyzes the complex interrelationships between the priests of the Minaksi Temple in Madurai and the economic, political, and social structure of contemporary India. V. Bouillier and G. Toffin (eds.), Priesthood, Power, and Authority in the Himalayas (1989), in English and French, is a collection of ethnographic papers concerning the role of the priesthood in Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and two tribal religions, the Tharu of Dang and the cult of Kham Magar. The sublimation of priesthood in Buddhism in India, China, and Japan is treated in Paul Dahlke, Buddhism and Its Place in the Mental Life of Mankind (1927); and Edward Conze, Buddhism: Its Essence and Development (1951, reissued 1975). D. Howard Smith, Chinese Religions (1968), introduces religious thought and sacerdotal practice in China. Religious Studies in Japan (1959), a collection of papers from the ninth International Congress for the History of Religions, is a very informative composite volume in English by a group of Japanese scholars. Texts concerning the Zen sect include Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, Manual of Zen Buddhism, 2nd ed. (1950, reissued 1983); and Alan Watts, The Way of Zen (1957, reprinted 1989); while reference is made to it in R.C. Zaehner, Mysticism, Sacred and Profane (1957, reissued 1980). The priesthood in Shinto is discussed in D.C. Holtom, The National Faith of Japan (1938, reissued 1965).

Friday, April 01, 2005

Ugra, Battle Of The

(1480), bloodless confrontation between the armies of Muscovy and the Golden Horde, traditionally marking the end of the “Mongol yoke” in Russia. By 1480 the Golden Horde had lost control of large portions of its empire; Ivan III of Moscow had stopped paying tribute to the Horde and no longer recognized it as an authority over Muscovy. In 1480 Akhmet, khan of the Golden Horde, led an army

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Soubise, Benjamin De Rohan, Seigneur De

Soubise apprenticed as a soldier under Prince Maurice of Orange-Nassau in the Low Countries. In the Huguenot rebellions that rocked France in the 1620s, his elder brother chiefly commanded the Huguenots' forces on land and in the south, while Soubise commanded those

Monday, March 28, 2005


In embryology, process by which the presence of one tissue influences the development of others. Certain tissues, especially in very young embryos, apparently have the potential to direct the differentiation of adjacent cells. Absence of the inducing tissue results in lack of or improper development of the induced tissue. The converse is often true as well; i.e., the

Saturday, March 26, 2005

North Germanic Languages, Icelandic

Important factors in the survival of Icelandic during the period of Danish rule were its continued use for literary purposes, the geographic remoteness of Iceland, a scattered population, and the great linguistic differences between Danish and Icelandic. While the Scandinavian languages in continental Europe were losing inflection, Icelandic preserved

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


In pathology, secondary skin lesion composed of dried serum, blood, or pus. See wound.