The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism (Blackwell Companions to by Gavin Flood

By Gavin Flood

A great source for classes on Hinduism or international religions, this available quantity spans the complete box of Hindu reports. It presents a discussion board for the simplest students on the planet to make their perspectives and examine on hand to a much broader viewers.

• Comprehensively covers the textual traditions of Hinduism
• positive factors 4 coherent sections overlaying theoretical concerns, textual traditions, technological know-how and philosophy, and Hindu society and politics
• displays the craze clear of essentialist understandings of Hinduism in the direction of culture and regional-specific reports
• contains fabric on Hindu people religions and stresses the significance of quarter in examining Hinduism
• perfect to be used on collage courses.

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Extra info for The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism (Blackwell Companions to Religion)

Sample text

In their taut, compressed faces he 24 gauri viswanathan finds a Hinduism to which he can relate, as surely as he is alienated by the other face of Hinduism blazoned by conch shells, camphor, and cymbals. He can conclude that, though “there is no dignity, no taste, no form. . I don’t think one ought to be irritated with Idolatry because one can see from the faces of the people that it touches something very deep in their hearts” (Forster 1953: 64). Forster’s personal odyssey frames an experience of Hinduism that, in its exquisite detail and ultimate compassion, is far more nuanced than is its portrayal in some of his other better-known works.

The Impetus for Reform in Hinduism The colonial policy of “divide and rule” has had some of its deepest consequences for Hinduism, its relation to Indian Islam not being the least of them. British colonialism’s attitude to Hinduism has long been a fraught one, ranging from antagonism to admiration, but never complete indifference. The existence of a highly evolved religious system practiced by the Hindus confounded the colonial assumption that all cultures outside the Christian pale were primitive, tribalistic, and animistic.

To be sure, British colonialism’s relation with Hinduism has long been a fraught one, ranging from antagonism to admiration, with a good measure of sheer indifference thrown in between. Some scholars argue there was no such thing as Hinduism in precolonial India, only a set of traditions and practices reorganized by western scholars to constitute a system then arbitrarily named “Hinduism” (Frykenberg 1989). The most radical position states that Hinduism is not a single religion but rather a group of amorphous Indian religions.

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