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An invaluable encyclopedia of Hinduism Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest religions; an amalgam of diverse beliefs and schools, it originates in the Vedas and is rooted in Indian culture. Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide illuminates complex philosophical concepts through lucid definitions, a historical perspective and incisive analyses. It examines various aspects of Hinduism, covering festivals and rituals, gods and goddesses, philosophers, memorials, aesthetics, and sacred plants and animals. The author also explores pivotal ideas, including moksha, karma, dharma and samsara, and details the diverse commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita and other important texts. Citing extensively from the regional languages, the book describes Hinduism’s innumerable myths and legends, and looks at the many versions of texts including the Ramayana and Mahabharata, placing each entry in its historical context and tracing its evolution to the present. • Outlines all eighteen major Puranas, the 108 Upanishads, and a selection of Vaishnava, Sahiva and Tantric texts • Provides quotations from rare original texts • A product of years of research, with a wide range of entries
On Hinduism is a penetrating analysis of many of the most crucial and contested issues in Hinduism, from the Vedas to the present day. In a series of 63 connected essays, it discusses Hindu concepts of polytheism, death, gender, art, contemporary puritanism, non-violence, and much more.
Hinduism is currently followed by one-fifth of humankind. Far from a monolithic theistic tradition, the religion comprises thousands of gods, a complex caste system, and hundreds of languages and dialects. Such internal plurality inspires vastly ranging rites and practices amongst Hinduism's hundreds of millions of adherents. It is therefore not surprising that scholars have been hesitant to define universal Hindu beliefs and practices. In this book, Axel Michaels breaks this trend. He examines the traditions, beliefs, and rituals Hindus hold in common through the lens of what he deems its identificatory habitus, a cohesive force that binds Hindu religions together and fortifies them against foreign influences. Thus, in his analysis, Michaels not only locates Hinduism's profoundly differentiating qualities, but also provides the framework for an analysis of its social and religious coherence. Michaels blends his insightful arguments and probing questions with introductions to major historical epochs, ample textual sources as well as detailed analyses of major life-cycle rituals, the caste system, forms of spiritualism, devotionalism, ritualism, and heroism. Along the way he points out that Hinduism has endured and repeatedly resisted the missionary zeal and universalist claims of Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists. He also contrasts traditional Hinduism with the religions of the West, where the self is preferred to the not-self, and where freedom in the world is more important than liberation from the world. Engaging and accessible, this book will appeal to laypersons and scholars alike as the most comprehensive introduction to Hinduism yet published. Not only is Hinduism refreshingly new in its methodological approach, but it also presents a broad range of meticulous scholarship in a clear, readable style, integrating Indology, religious studies, philosophy, anthropological theory and fieldwork, and sweeping analyses of Hindu texts. -- "Choice"
What Is Hinduism? provides one of the most provocative, engaging and detailed examinations of this oldest religious and spiritual tradition in the world. Followed by over a billion people, including a great majority in India, Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world. The teachings of Yoga and Vedanta are followed by millions in every continent. Enriched with a profound pluralistic view, Hinduism emphasizes that the Truth is One but has many paths. Yet, despite its universality, Hinduism remains the most misunderstood of the world's major religions, partly because of its antiquity and the vast extent of its teachings. Acknowledging the importance of the religion and its growing influence globally, David Frawley has addressed the prime teachings of Hinduism, its role in India, its place in the information age and has compiled an exhaustive set of questions and answers dwelling on all the significant issues. This essential learning helps us understand our spiritual heritage as a species and the place of India among the greatest civilizations of the world- ancient and modern. Further, the book charts out how Hindus can overcome the challenges confronting them today and communicate their diverse tradition more effectively, making it an ideal book for the Hindu youth.
Hinduism is practised by nearly eighty per cent of India's population, and by some seventy million people outside India. In this Very Short Introduction, Kim Knott offers a succinct and authoritative overview of this major religion, and analyses the challenges facing it in the twenty-first century. She discusses key preoccupations of Hinduism such as the centrality of the Veda as religious texts, the role of Brahmins, gurus, and storytellers in the transmission of divine truths, and the cultural and moral importance of epics such as the Ramayana. In this second edition Knott considers the impact of changes in technology and the flourishing of social media on Hinduism, and looks at the presence of Hinduism in popular culture, considering pieces such as Sita Sings the Blues. She also analyses recent developments in India, and the impact issues such as Hindu nationalism and the politicization of Hinduism have on Hindus worldwide. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
After a brief introduction on the idea of culture, enculturation and acculturation in social anthropology, a theology of culture, symbol and language is treated in order to lead to the central subject-matter of the Christian theology of inculturation, which is articulated in themes such as revelation and culture, redemptive incarnation as an exemplary model of inculturation, Lay people and inculturation, missionary spirituality and inculturation. The final chapters deal with inculturation in the Indian Church, the meeting of the Gospel with Asian religions, cultures and aspirations for full humanity, and Asian Christian theology.