Hinduism and Modernity / Edition 1

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This examination of Hinduism in the context of modernity will be of interest to all students of Hinduism, as well as to those interested in the sociology and history of religion.

  • Shows Hinduism to be a highly dynamic world-view which challenges western notions of modernity.
  • Considers a broad range of topics including women, the caste system, the self, divinities and gurus.
  • Contains up-to-date discussions of modern Hindu culture and beliefs.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An excellent survey of the history of the Western encounters with India and Hinduism, highlighting in the process the inevitable misunderstandings that resulted, some of which still persist in popular portrayals of the religion. As such it is particularly appropriate for its designated readership."

"Hinduism and Modernity will undoubtedly prove essential for all those interested in the history and methodology of Indological Studies, and deservedly so. It provides an excellent introduction to the relevant key trends, issues and concerns; indeed, Smith's bibliography alone is an invaluable resource. The breadth of Smith's work is staggering and his clarity and elegance in presenting it are remarkable."
Andrew McGarrity, University of Sydney, Asian Studies Review

"In his book David Smith presents a comprehensive survey of Hinduism in relation to modernity. The book provides a fascinating account of the interaction of Hinduism with modernity from the rise of rationalist discourse in the West, through colonialism and orientalism, to contemporary Hindu culture and the politics of identity. Controversial at times, particularly in its treatment of feminist and post-colonial critiques of Indology, the book will provide an extremely useful focus for discussion in courses on South Asia and the transformations of religion in late modernity." Professor Gavin Flood, University of Stirling

"Smith demonstrates his pedagogical abilities through an insightful array of metaphors borrowed from popular Hinduism that he uses to illustrate themes within Hinduism and modernity. This approach serves him particularly well..."
Timonthy C. Tennent, Associate Professor of World Missions, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"This 250 page book is innovative and informative. It offers a dynamic analysis of Hinduism in the perspective of western notions of modernity."
Ezine Articles

"Smith's book is courageous and bold, and it could redefine how students begin to learn what Hinduism is."
Laurie L. Patton, Emory University, The Journal of Religion

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Product Details

Meet the Author

David Smith is Reader in Indian Religions at Lancaster University. He has published two books on classical Indian culture, Ratnakara's Haravijaya (1985) and The Dance of Siva (1996).

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Table of Contents



Part I: Hinduism And Modernity Explained:.

1. Modernity And Hinduism.

2. India And The Juggernaut Of Modernity.

3. Hinduism Ancient And Modern.

Part II: Hinduism For Others:.

4. Islam And Hinduism.

5. The Western Discovery Of Hinduism.

6. Hinduism and Orientalism.

Part III: Hinduism Contrasted With Modernity:.

7. ‘Woman Caste’ (Aurat Jati) And The Gender Of Modernity.

8. Kali East And West.

9. The Gods Of Hinduism And The Idols Of Modernity.

10. The Image Of The Self.

Part IV: Hinduism Today:.

11. Gurus.

12. Modernity And Hindu Nationalism.

13. Hinduism And The Global Future.




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