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 multiple entryways into the vast arena of Hinduism. Using the general divisional categories of theoretical issues, text and tradition, systematic thought, and society, politics and nation, Flood has achieved significant breadth in disciplines, subjects and historical perspectives.” Choice

“This is a most welcome, timely, and authoritative assessment of the entire field of study, a most commendable response to an enormous challenge.” Journal of Contemporary Religion

“It effectively serves to condense the proliferation of scholarship on Hinduism... The approach is interdisciplinary and places Hinduism not within a sphere of its own, but within a larger context, reading it as a dynamic product of historical global exchange. The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism also has an important section devoted to the Indian Sciences (language, mathematics, astrology, astronomy and medicine) which collectively destabilize colonialism’s claim that Hinduism was arbitrary and irrational. … A handsome addition to academic and personal libraries.” Asian Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405132510
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/20/2005
  • Series: Wiley Blackwell Companions to Religion Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 616
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gavin Flood is Head of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Stirling. Among his publications are Beyond Phenomonology: 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


Preface and Acknowledgments.

Introduction: Establishing the Boundaries: Gavin Flood.

Part I Theoretical Issues.

1. Colonialism and the Construction of Hinduism.

Gauri Viswanathan.

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.


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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