An Introduction to Hinduism

Overview

This book provides a much-needed thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism, the religion of the majority of people in India. Beginning with the question 'What is Hinduism?', Dr Flood traces the development of Hindu traditions from their ancient origins, through the major deities of Visnu, Siva and the Goddess, to the modern world. Hinduism as both a global religion and a form of nationalism is discussed. Particular emphasis is given to the tantric traditions, which have been so influential; to Hindu ...
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Overview

This book provides a much-needed thematic and historical introduction to Hinduism, the religion of the majority of people in India. Beginning with the question 'What is Hinduism?', Dr Flood traces the development of Hindu traditions from their ancient origins, through the major deities of Visnu, Siva and the Goddess, to the modern world. Hinduism as both a global religion and a form of nationalism is discussed. Particular emphasis is given to the tantric traditions, which have been so influential; to Hindu ritual, which is more fundamental to the life of the religion than are specific beliefs or doctrines; and to Dravidian influences from south India. An introduction to Hinduism examines the ideas of dharma, particularly in relation to the ideology of kingship, caste and world renunciation. Dr Flood also introduces some debates within contemporary scholarship about the nature of Hinduism. His book is suitable both for the beginning student and for the general reader, and as such will be an ideal starting point, and an indispensable companion, for anybody interested in learning more about a religious tradition of major and continuing significance.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This new introduction to Hinduism is distinguished by exceptionally useful chapter divisions, good detail combined with ease of reading, and a particular focus on the integrated quality of the evolution of Hindu thought....The book's balance between scholarly detail and clear, readable elucidation of issues is commendable....In all, this is a valuable contribution to the undergraduate classroom. Libraries whose Hinduism holdings include other good introductions should, nonetheless, acquire this one." Choice

"Flood's book is a very welcome newcomer, comprehensive, detailed and judicious." Francis X. Clooney, S.J., Theological Studies

"...is one of the best and most informative intiations into Hinduism to date." Journal of Indo-European Studies

"An Introduction to Hinduism is a highly readable and authoritative conspectus on this great religion....An Introduction to Hinduism will surely find a much wider audience, for scholars of comparative religion, Indologists, and non-specialists in their distinctive ways will certainly find this handsome book well worth reading." David Hicks, Asian Thought and Society

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521433044
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Series: Introduction to Religion Series
  • Pages: 359
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Acknowledgements
A note on language and transliteration
Abbreviations and texts
Introduction 1
1 Points of departure 5
2 Ancient origins 23
3 Dharma 51
4 Yoga and renunciation 75
5 Narrative traditions and early Vaisnavism 103
6 The love of Visnu 128
7 Saiva and tantric religion 148
8 The Goddess and Sakta traditions 174
9 Hindu ritual 198
10 Hindu theology and philosophy 224
11 Hinduism and the modern world 250
Notes 274
Bibliography 305
Index 329
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