Worshipping Siva and Buddha: The Temple Art of East Java Hardcover – 31 Aug 2003
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About the Author
Ann R. Kinney has a lifelong interest in Asia, growing up in Japan and living in Vietnam and Indonesia, where her husband served as the American Consul in Surabaya, East Java. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University. She lives in New York City.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Kinney endeavors to set the record straight and give the East Java wonders their historical and cultural due in this copiously detailed, lavishly illustrated and fascinating volume.
She puts the construction of the temples in historical context, including the entry and development of Buddhism and Hinduism in Java, describing the unique characteristics of the temple architecture from the great East Javanese kingdoms of Kediri, Singosari and Majapahit. She also speculates on the reasons for the "reversal of fortune" that led to Central Java's temples gaining more prominence with contemporary scholars.
The author has a concise, interesting, inviting style: This is no pedantic roll call of facts, but neither is it the light-weight academic exercise of the usual glossy coffee-table book.
Kinney writes in the prologue that much of the information on the temples and their architecture is only available in scattered sources, and her intent was to bring it together in one readily available source. She succeeds admirably; every page shows her scholarly credentials, but the care and precision in which she details the story of each temple, great and small, also reveals a deep love of the subject (as she laments, many of the sculptures are no longer at their original sites, but have been spirited away to museums around the world).
For those with aspirations of writing a great tome to Indonesia and its wonders, Kinney has met the standard and then some with this gorgeous work.
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