Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction

Overview


Hinduism is practiced by about eighty percent of India's population, and by about 30 million people outside India. But how is Hinduism defined, and what basis does the religion have? In this Very Short Introduction, Kim Knott provides clear insight into the beliefs and authority of Hindus and Hinduism, and considers the ways in which it has been affected by colonialism and modernity.
Knott offers succinct explanations of Hinduism's central preoccupations, including the role of ...
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First Good [ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ] [ Edition: First ] Publisher: Oxford Pub Date: 1/1/1998 Binding: Paperback Pages: 140.

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Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction

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Overview


Hinduism is practiced by about eighty percent of India's population, and by about 30 million people outside India. But how is Hinduism defined, and what basis does the religion have? In this Very Short Introduction, Kim Knott provides clear insight into the beliefs and authority of Hindus and Hinduism, and considers the ways in which it has been affected by colonialism and modernity.
Knott offers succinct explanations of Hinduism's central preoccupations, including the role of contemporary gurus and teachers in the quest for spiritual fulfillment; and the function of regular performances of the Mahabharata and Ramayana--scriptures which present the divine in personal form (avatara) and provide models of behavior for everyone, from kings and warriors to servants and children, and which focus on the dharma, the appropriate duties and moral responsibilities of the different varna or classes. The author also considers the challenges posed to Hinduism at the end of the twentieth century as it spreads far beyond India, and as concerns are raised about issues such as dowry, death, caste prejudice, and the place of women in Hindu society.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book is instantly accessible in its approach without being in any way condescending or an oversimplification. Each of the chapters tackles a crucial issue or web of interconnected issues, none of them straightforward and yet all conveyed with an elegance of simplicity that belies their inherent complexity."--Julia Leslie, School of Oriental and African Studies, London

"Strongly recommended both for its exemplification of the finest contemporary thinking in this area and its attention to central matters and issues."--Peter Doble, Theological Book Review

"A very accessible overview. The rich diversity within Hinduism is celebrated and the difficult questions are not avoided."--Inter-Faith Issues

"Accessible and enjoyable."--Arti Kacchia, ISKON Communications Journal

"Very readable and certainly the most helpful, with a new and original perspective conveyed in a succinct introductory style."--Ursula King, University of Bristol

"My students thoroughly enjoyed it."--Prakash Chenjen, Southern Oregon University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192853417
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/23/1998
  • Series: Very Short Introductions Series
  • Pages: 139
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Author:
Kim Knott is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Community Religions Project at the University of Leeds.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
1 The Scholar and the Devotee 1
2 Revelation and the Transmission of Knowledge 13
3 Understanding the Self 27
4 Divine Heroes: the Epic Tradition 42
5 The Divine Presence 53
6 Hinduism, Colonialism, and Modernity 68
7 Challenges to Hinduism: Women and Dalits 81
8 Crossing the Black Waters: Hinduism beyond India 95
9 Hindu Dharma, Hinduism, and Hinduisms 110
App The Six Philosophical Systems Darshana 119
Timeline 120
Glossary 123
Further Reading 127
References 132
Index 135
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