Dharma: The Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh Traditions of India

Dharma: The Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh Traditions of India

by Veena R. Howard (Editor)


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Dharma is central to all the major religious traditions which originated on the Indian subcontinent. Such is its importance that these traditions cannot adequately be understood apart from it. Often translated as "ethics," "religion," "law," or "social order," dharma possesses elements of each of these but is not confined to any single category familiar to Western thought. Neither is it the straightforward equivalent of what many in the West might usually consider to be "a philosophy". This much-needed analysis of the history and heritage of dharma shows that it is instead a multi-faceted religious force, or paradigm, that has defined and that continues to shape the different cultures and civilizations of South Asia in a whole multitude of forms, organizing many aspects of life.
Experts in the fields of Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh studies here bring fresh insights to dharma in terms both of its distinctiveness and its commonality as these are expressed across, and between, the several religions of the subcontinent. Exploring ethics, practice, history and social and gender issues, the contributors engage critically with some prevalent and often problematic interpretations of dharma, and point to new ways of appreciating these traditions in a manner that is appropriate to and thoroughly consistent with their varied internal debates, practices and self-representations.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781350224742
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 01/14/2021
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.91(d)

About the Author

Veena R. Howard is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at California State University, Fresno. She is the author of Gandhi's Ascetic Activism: Renunciation and Social Action (2013).

Table of Contents

1.Toward an Understanding of Dharma: The Questions of
Identity, Hybridity, Fluidity, and Plurality

2. Hindu Dharma: Unity in Diversity—A Pluralistic Tradition

3.Jain Dharma: The Eternal Law of Ahimsa

4. Buddha Dharma (Dhamma): “Reliable Teachings”—
According to the Buddha and Buddhism

5. Sikh Dharam: Path of the Seeker of Truth

Appendix: Sufism in India

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