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Karunatilaka, Patti Vidanelage Bandula (1976) The economic functions of religious institutions in Eastern India from c. 550-1200 A.D. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The present study is a survey of the economic functions carried out by the religious institutions in eastern India from c. 550 to 1200 A.D. In the introduction the importance of the study of the economic functions of religious institutions is briefly discussed and the works written so far on the subject are mentioned. An examination of the sources is also included in the introduction. A survey of the main political developments in eastern India during the period is made in the first chapter, as a background for this study. The second chapter begins with a discussion on the development of the practice of making endowments for religious purposes, and it then examines the nature of endowments and the method by which the religious foundations in eastern India accumulated wealth. The third chapter deals with the landed property, with special reference to land tenure, rights of the religious institutions and land revenue and taxation. In the fourth chapter, the nature of monetary endowments, obligations of the depository, investment and rates of interest are discussed in detail. In the fifth chapter, the administrative organization of the religious institutions is examined, paying special attention to the management of property. The role of the religious institutions as economic organizations, and their relationship with society is evaluated in the sixth chapter.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:58

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