All those who are engaged in the task of producing books know that it is a collective venture. In relation to this book, there are many people to whom I would like to express my gratitude. Dan O'Connor, the gentle 'sahib', has been a great supporter and through the years has shown sustained interest in all my research projects. As the first reader of this work, he not only gave freely of his time and wisdom but also often made perceptive suggestions which considerably improved the tone of the text and prevented me from straying from the task at hand.
My thanks go to Kevin Taylor, the Senior Commissioning Editor of CUP, for his enthusiastic support for the project from its inception, for entrusting me with the venture and for many helpful suggestions along the way; to Jan Chapman for her meticulous and sensitive copy-editing; to Markus Vinzent, the head of the Department of Theology, for granting me an extended study leave, and for his personal interest and encouragement; to Ralph Broadbent for his willingness to sort out the computer complications that I often encountered; to Lorraine Smith for her support and scrupulous reading of various parts of the book; to the ever-friendly and resourceful staff at the Orchard Learning Centre – Meline Nielsen, Gordon Harris, Michael Gale, Robert Card, Janet Bushnell, Deborah Drury, Jane Saunders, Pauline Hartley, Gary Harper, Griselda Lartey, and Nigel Moseley, and especially to Nigel and Griselda for tracking down elusive material.
Finally my thanks also go to my wife Sharada, who, herself coming from a tradition which has a different perspective on