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Hinduism, the world's oldest "living" religion, is also the third-largest faith, boasting one billion adherents. Rosen (Introduction to the World's Major Religions) is the ideal author to unravel the mystery of this diverse and complex faith. As editor of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies, he is especially qualified in his highlighting of Vaishnavism, the most popular form of Hinduism, throughout. The book is made up of 13 chapters and is divided into two conceptual parts: "The Basis," which focuses on Hinduism's history and holy texts, and "The Practice," which discusses philosophical ideas and specific practices such as vegetarianism, meditation, and worship. Hindu terms appear alongside English translations. There is a solid bibliography and notes, but a glossary would have been helpful. What's more, illustrations or photographs would have enhanced the text's richness. The content, however, is of a high caliber. This book will appeal to scholars as well as general readers. Recommended for both academic and public libraries.
—C. Brian Smith Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information