The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism / Edition 1

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An ideal resource for courses on Hinduism or world religions, this accessible volume spans the entire field of Hindu studies. It provides a forum for the best scholars in the world to make their views and research available to a wider audience.

  • Comprehensively covers the textual traditions of Hinduism
  • Features four coherent sections covering theoretical issues, textual traditions, science and philosophy, and Hindu society and politics
  • Reflects the trend away from essentialist understandings of Hinduism towards tradition and regional-specific studies
  • Includes material on Hindu folk religions and stresses the importance of region in analyzing Hinduism
  • Ideal for use on university courses.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This collection offers a new way to parse the multipleentryways into the vast arena of Hinduism. Using the generaldivisional categories of theoretical issues, text and tradition,systematic thought, and society, politics and nation, Flood hasachieved significant breadth in disciplines, subjects andhistorical perspectives.” Choice

“This is a most welcome, timely, and authoritativeassessment of the entire field of study, a most commendableresponse to an enormous challenge.” Journal ofContemporary Religion

“It effectively serves to condense the proliferation ofscholarship on Hinduism... The approach is interdisciplinary andplaces Hinduism not within a sphere of its own, but within a largercontext, reading it as a dynamic product of historical globalexchange. The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism also has animportant section devoted to the Indian Sciences (language,mathematics, astrology, astronomy and medicine) which collectivelydestabilize colonialism’s claim that Hinduism was arbitraryand irrational. … A handsome addition to academic andpersonal libraries.” Asian Studies Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Gavin Flood is Head of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Stirling. Among his publications are Beyond Phenomenology: Rethinking the Study of Religion (1999), An Introduction to Hinduism (1996), and Body and Cosmology in Kashmir Œaivism (1993).

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors.


Introduction: Establishing the Boundaries: Gavin Flood.

Part I: Theoretical Issues:.

1. Colonialism and the Construction of Hinduism: Gauri Visvanathan.

2. Orientalism and Hinduism: David Smith.

Part II: Text and Tradition:.

The Sanskrit Textual Traditions:.

3. Vedas and Upanisads: Michael Witzel.

4. The Dharmaúâstras: Ludo Rocher.

5. The Sanskrit Epics: John Brockington.

6. The Purânas: Freda Matchett.

Textual Traditions in Regional Languages:.

7. Tamil Hindu Literature: Norman Cutler.

8. The Literature of Hinduism in Malayalam: Rich Freeman.

9. North Indian Hindi Devotional Literature: Nancy M. Martin.

Major Historical Developments:.

10. The Úaiva Traditions: Gavin Flood.

11. History of Vaisnava Traditions: Gérard Colas.

12. The Renouncer Tradition: Patrick Olivelle.

13. The Householder Tradition in Hindu Society: T.N. Madan.

Regional Traditions:.

14. The Teyyam Tradition of Kerala: Rich Freeman.

15. The Month of Kârtik And Women's Ritual Devotions to Krsna in Benares: Tracy Pinchman.

Part III: Systematic Thought:.

The Indian Sciences:.

Introduction: Frits Staal.

16. The Science of Language: Frits Staal.

17. Indian Mathematics: Takao Hayashi.

18. Calendar, Astrology and Astronomy: Michio Yano.

19. The Science of Medicine: Dominik Wujastyk.

Philosophy and Theology:.

20. Hinduism and the Proper Work of Reason: Jonardon Ganeri.

21. Restoring "Hindu Theology" as a Category in Indian Intellectual Discourse: Francis Clooney.

22. Mantra: André Padoux.

Part IV: Society, Politics, and Nation:.

23. On the Relationship between Caste and Hinduism: Declan Quigley.

24. Modernity, Reform and Revival: Dermot Killingley.

25. Contemporary Political Hinduism: C. Ram Prasad.

26. The Goddess and the Nation: Subterfuges of Antiquity, the Cunning of Modernity: Sumathi Ramaswamy.

27. Gender in a Devotional Universe: Vasudha Narayanan.


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