Hinduism by Lynne Gibson, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble


by Lynne Gibson

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This volume is part of the publisher's "Living Religions" series—the other titles are Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. The series focuses on the major world religions and particularly on their relevance to contemporary life. The material in these books seeks to find a balance between origins, history and current practice, and also aims to explore what the reader can learn both about and from the religion being presented. In Hinduism, Gibson makes every effort to clarify facts and present succinct information about a religion so old that, to the outsider, it might often seem to be a swirling array of contradictions. The book opens with an introduction supported by a map of the region and presenting facts and theories about Hinduism's origin. Although the relationship to present-day Hinduism of the Indus Valley site illustration is not touched upon at all, this is on the whole a clear and effective introduction. It's a challenging task to present the complexities of Hindu belief and thinking within the confines of 64 pages, and on the whole this book succeeds. Chapters address sacred texts, teachers and leaders, society, symbols, festivals, rites of passage, and more. Creation tales are told from a Rig Vedic and later perspectives, and presented as stories exemplifying what is considered a great mystery. The avatars of Vishnu are presented in an attractive full-page illustration. They, however, present Jayadeva's context of including Buddha, with no explanation indicating that here again not all Hindus would agree. Still, linkages to present-day life are both thoughtful and sensitive, e.g., the Chipko movement and its scriptural grounding.Photographs, diagrams, fact boxes, biographies and quotations, and a full glossary and index augment the text. 2003, Raintree, Ages 8 to 12.
—Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-These thoughtfully organized overviews provide essential information on the faith, careful looks at festivals and important rites of passage, clear and beautifully reproduced photographs, and expansive glossaries. The authors provide references to important scriptures as well as quotations from important teachers or contemporary believers. The books stand out for their inclusion of the religion's approach to contemporary issues, from the status of women in Islam to Hinduism's opposition to abortion to Sikhism's environmental concerns. Hinduism contains the frank admission that-despite the faith's strong traditions in pacifism, religious tolerance, and the ultimate unity of all faith-the existence of the caste system has often led Hindus to be less loving to each other than to adherents of other religions. On the other hand, Islam's look at jihad focuses so intently on the traditional view of jihad as, first, the believer's internal struggles, that non-Muslim readers may feel that the author is dodging the term's more recent usage as "war against infidels." Likewise, readers may find it difficult to reconcile the normative position that imams and other prominent Muslims do not tell other Muslims how to think or behave, given media reports of the involvement of imams in political matters. Even with these caveats, however, the books will be useful for reports, and should encourage cross-faith understanding and a lessening of suspicion across the lines of religion.-Coop Renner, Fairmeadows Elementary, Duncanville, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Heinemann Library
Publication date:
Living Religions Series
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.47(d)
Age Range:
11 - 13 Years

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