Hinduism, TM, and Hare Krishna

Hinduism, TM, and Hare Krishna

by Alan W. Gomes, J. Isamu Yamamoto, Kurt Van Gorden

In the sixties, Transcendental Meditation, a Hindu-based movement, became fashionable as a way to therapy and psychological well-being -- especially after being endorsed by the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Its influence waned, ironically, after the courts decided that TM was a religion rather than a form of therapy, as TM had claimed. But its popularity helped open the…  See more details below


In the sixties, Transcendental Meditation, a Hindu-based movement, became fashionable as a way to therapy and psychological well-being -- especially after being endorsed by the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Its influence waned, ironically, after the courts decided that TM was a religion rather than a form of therapy, as TM had claimed. But its popularity helped open the doors to a wider acceptance of Eastern philosophy and religions in mainstream America. Another Americanized form of Hinduism is Hare Krishna. This volume and the volume on Buddhism in this series together present a comprehensive overview of Eastern religions, their views, and their impact on contemporary North America. Why this series? This is an age when countless groups and movements, old and new, mark the religious landscape in our culture, leaving many people confused or uncertain in their search for spiritual truth and meaning. Because few people have the time or opportunity to research these movements fully, these books provide essential information and insights for their spiritual journeys. All books but the summary volume, Truth and Error, contain five sections: -A concise introduction to the group being surveyed -An overview of the group’s theology — in its own words -Tips for witnessing effectively to members of the group -A bibliography with sources for further study -A comparison chart that shows the essential differences between biblical Christianity and the group -Truth and Error, the last book in the series, consists of parallel doctrinal charts compiled from all the other volumes. -Three distinctives make this series especially useful to readers: -Information is carefully distilled to bring out truly essential points, rather than requiring readers to sift their way through a sea of secondary details. -Information is presented in a clear, easy-to-follow outline form with “menu bar” running heads. This format greatly assists the reader in quickly locating topics and details of interest. -Each book meets the needs and skill levels of both nontechnical and technical readers, providing an elementary level of refutation and progressing to a more advanced level using arguments based on the biblical text.
The writers of these volumes are well qualified to present clear and reliable information and help readers to discern truth from falsehood.

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Product Details

Publication date:
Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious MovementsSeries Series
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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How to Use This Book
The Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements comprises fifteen volumes, treating many of the most important groups and belief systems confronting the Christian church today. This series distills the most important facts about each and presents a well-reasoned, cogent Christian response. The authors in this series are highly qualified, well-respected professional Christian apologists with considerable expertise on their topics.
We have designed the structure and layout to help you find the information you need as quickly as possible. All the volumes are written in outline form, which allows us to pack substantial content into a short book. With some exceptions, each book contains, first, an introduction to the cult, movement, or belief system. The introduction gives a brief history of the group, its organizational structure, and vital statistics such as membership. Second, the theology section is arranged by doctrinal topic, such as God, Christ, sin, and salvation. The movement's position is set forth objectively, primarily from its own official writings. The group's teachings are then refuted point by point, followed by an affirmative presentation of what the Bible says about the doctrine. The third section is a discussion of witnessing tips. While each witnessing encounter must be handled individually and sensitively, this section provides some helpful general guidelines, including both dos and don'ts. The fourth section contains annotated bibliographies, listing works by the groups themselves and books written by Christians in response. Fifth, each book has a parallel comparison chart, with direct quotations from the group's literature in the left column and the biblical refutation on the right. Some of the books conclude with a glossary.
One potential problem with a detailed outline is that it is easy to lose one's place in the overall structure. Therefore, we have provided graphical 'signposts' at the top of the odd-numbered pages. Functioning like a 'you are here' map in a shopping mall, these graphics show your place in the outline, including the sections that come before and after your current position. (Those familiar with modern computer software will note immediately the resemblance to a 'drop-down' menu bar, where the second-level choices vary depending on the currently selected main menu item.) In the theology section we have also used 'icons' in the margins to make clear at a glance whether the material is being presented from the group's viewpoint or the Christian viewpoint. For example, in the Mormonism volume the sections presenting the Mormon position are indicated with a picture resembling the angel Moroni in the margin; the biblical view is shown by a drawing of the Bible.
We hope you will find these books useful as you seek 'to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have' (1 Peter 3:15).
---Alan W. Gomes, Ph.D. Series Editor
Part I: Introduction
I. Historical Background (Ancient)I. Historical Background (Ancient)
A. Hinduism as It Relates to India
1. Hindu is a Persian term that means 'the people and culture of the Indus River region.'
a. The Indus River runs from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea through Pakistan.
b. The Indus River region includes Pakistan and western India.
c. In time the term has come to commonly refer to the majority of the Indian population.
2. Hinduism is more than just a religious term to Indian Hindus.
a. To them it is more a way of life than a set of beliefs.
b. According to Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a former Indian president and one of the leading Indian philosophers, 'Hinduism is more a culture than a creed.'1
3. A knowledge of the cultural history of India is imperative in understanding Hinduism.
a. Yet it also should be noted that Indian scholarship has not been concerned with chronology.
b. Hence, the lack of reliable historical data handicaps an exact examination of the development of their religious philosophies.
B. The Harappan Civilization
1. Archaeological artifacts indicate that the Harappan civilization, also known as the Indus Valley civilization, probably thrived from about 2700 to 1750 B.C.
a. Contemporaneous with the ancient Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations, it was one of the most advanced civilizations of this time period.
b. Its two major capitals were Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, which, like the other cities of the Indus civilization, featured a high citadel, lower domestic dwellings, an extensive sanitation system, and elaborate water baths.

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Meet the Author

J. Isamu Yamamoto is the author of several books. He is currently the inspirational editor for Publications International, Ltd., and a consulting editor for Christian Research Journal.

Alan W. Gomes (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is associate professor of historical theology and chairman of the department of theology at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University.

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