The election is still too close to call and I am not even drinking yet, so I thought I would take a moment and respond to these two thoughtful precis (precises?) before I really go for it.
I think both Rebekka and Patricia have raised really interested questions about this book, and I appreciate the comparisons with my article. Rebekka, I think you are right that Presad’s work casts doubt on the ability of scholars to access anything like the lived experience of the authors of ancient texts. But it does not at all mean they cannot analyze the way experience itself is depicted or managed through textual practice. On the other hand, the shastras are not the Hebrew Bible and we need to try to characterize individual texts and the societies that gave rise to them. I think the shastras may offer intriguing parallels for a student of early Judaism or Christianity, but that does not mean they necessarily follow the same models.
Ok. I have to watch the election. See you tomorrow. Unless the world ends.