Hindu Law

Hindu Law

Hindu Law

Through pointed studies of important aspects and topics of dharma in Dharmasastra, this comprehensive collection shows that the history of Hinduism cannot be written without the history of Hindu law. Part one provides a concise overview of the literary genres in which Dharmasastra was written with attention to chronology and historical developments. This study divides the tradition into its two major historical periods -- the origins and formation of the classical texts and the later genres of commentary and digest -- in order to provide a thorough, but manageable overview of the textual bases of the tradition. Part two presents descriptive and historical studies of all the major substantive topics of Dharmasastra. Each chapter offers readers with direct knowledge of the debates, transformations, and fluctuating importance of each topic. Readers will also gain insight into the ethos or worldview of religious law in Hinduism, enabling them to get a feel for how dharma authors thought and why. Part three contains brief studies of the impact and reception of Dharmasastra in other South Asian cultural and textual traditions. Part four draws inspiration from "critical terms" in contemporary legal and religious studies to analyze Dharmasastra texts. Contributors offer interpretive views of Dharmasastra that start from hermeneutic and social concerns today.

The Oxford History of Hinduism The Goddess

The Oxford History of Hinduism  The Goddess

The Oxford History of Hinduism The Goddess

The Oxford History of Hinduism: The Goddess provides a critical exposition of the Hindu idea of the divine feminine, or Devī, conceived as a singularity expressed in many forms. With the theological principles examined in the opening chapters, the book proceeds to describe and expound historically how individual manifestations of Devī have been imagined in Hindu religious culture and their impact upon Hindu social life. In this quest the contributors draw upon the history and philosophy of major Hindu ideologies, such as the Purāṇic, Tāntric, and Vaiṣṇava belief systems. A particular distinction of the book is its attention not only to the major goddesses from the earliest period of Hindu religious history but also to goddesses of later origin, in many cases of regional provenance and influence. Viewed through the lens of worship practices, legend, and literature, belief in goddesses is discovered as the formative impulse of much of public and private life. The influence of the goddess culture is especially powerful on women's life, often paradoxically situating women between veneration and subjection. This apparent contradiction arises from the humanization of goddesses while acknowledging their divinity, which is central to Hindu beliefs. In addition to studying the social and theological aspect of the goddess ideology, the contributors take anthropological, sociological, and literary approaches to delineate the emotional force of the goddess figure that claims intense human attachments and shapes personal and communal lives.

The Oxford History of Hinduism Modern Hinduism

The Oxford History of Hinduism  Modern Hinduism

The Oxford History of Hinduism Modern Hinduism

The Oxford History of Hinduism: Modern Hinduism focuses on developments resulting from movements within the tradition as well as contact between India and the outside world through both colonialism and globalization. Divided into three parts, part one considers the historical background to modern conceptualizations of Hinduism. Moving away from the reforms of the 19th and early 20th century, part two includes five chapters each presenting key developments and changes in religious practice in modern Hinduism. Part three moves to issues of politics, ethics, and law. This section maps and explains the powerful legal and political contexts created by the modern state—first the colonial government and then the Indian Republic—which have shaped Hinduism in new ways. The last two chapters look at Hinduism outside India focusing on Hinduism in Nepal and the modern Hindu diaspora.

The Oxford History of Hinduism Modern Hinduism

The Oxford History of Hinduism  Modern Hinduism

The Oxford History of Hinduism Modern Hinduism

The Oxford History of Hinduism: Modern Hinduism focuses on developments resulting from movements within the tradition as well as contact between India and the outside world through both colonialism and globalization. Divided into three parts, part one considers the historical background to modern conceptualizations of Hinduism. Moving away from the reforms of the 19th and early 20th century, part two includes five chapters each presenting key developments and changes in religious practice in modern Hinduism. Part three moves to issues of politics, ethics, and law. This section maps and explains the powerful legal and political contexts created by the modern state—first the colonial government and then the Indian Republic—which have shaped Hinduism in new ways. The last two chapters look at Hinduism outside India focusing on Hinduism in Nepal and the modern Hindu diaspora.

The Truth Within

The Truth Within

The Truth Within

The idea that there is a truth within the person linked to the discovery of a deeper, more fundamental, more authentic self, has been a common theme in many religions throughout history and an idea that is still with us today. This inwardness or interiority unique to me as an essential feature of who I am has been an aspect of culture and even a defining characteristic of human being; an authentic, private sphere to which we can retreat that is beyond the conflicts of the outer world. This inner world becomes more real than the outer, which is seen as but a pale reflection. Remarkably, the image of the truth within is found across cultures and this book presents an account of this idea in the pre-modern history of Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Furthermore, in theistic religions, Christianity and some forms of Hinduism, the truth within is conflated with the idea of God within and in all cases this inner truth is thought to be not only the heart of the person, but also the heart of the universe itself. Gavin Flood examines the metaphor of inwardness and the idea of truth within, along with the methods developed in religions to attain it such as prayer and meditation. These views of inwardness that link the self to cosmology can be contrasted with a modern understanding of the person. In examining the truth within in Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, Flood offers a hermeneutical phenomenology of inwardness and a defence of comparative religion.

Religion and the Philosophy of Life

Religion and the Philosophy of Life

Religion and the Philosophy of Life

Religion and the Philosophy of Life considers how religion as the source of civilization transforms the fundamental bio-sociology of humans through language and the somatic exploration of religious ritual and prayer. Gavin Flood offers an integrative account of the nature of the human, based on what contemporary scientists tell us, especially evolutionary science and social neuroscience, as well as through the history of civilizations. Part one contemplates fundamental questions and assumptions: what the current state of knowledge is concerning life itself; what the philosophical issues are in that understanding; and how we can explain religion as the driving force of civilizations in the context of human development within an evolutionary perspective. It also addresses the question of the emergence of religion and presents a related study of sacrifice as fundamental to religions' views about life and its transformation. Part two offers a reading of religions in three civilizational blocks—India, China, and Europe/the Middle East—particularly as they came to formation in the medieval period. It traces the history of how these civilizations have thematised the idea of life itself. Part three then takes up the idea of a life force in part three and traces the theme of the philosophy of life through to modern times. On the one hand, the book presents a narrative account of life itself through the history of civilizations, and on the other presents an explanation of that narrative in terms of life.

Hinduism in India

Hinduism in India

Hinduism in India

A major contribution toward the ongoing debates on the nature and history of Hinduism in India Is Hinduism coherent, or should it be viewed as a conglomeration of many distinctive traditions? What were (or are) its most important and central teachings? When did the idea of “Hinduism” first arise and what have been the consequences? What were the effects of British rule on the religion and what are the effects of continuing modernization? This book responds to all such debates surrounding Hinduism in the colonial and contemporary periods. It emphasizes on Hinduism as it arose and developed in the subcontinent itself—an approach which facilitates greater attention to detail and an understanding of the specific context in which new movements and changes have taken place.

Modern Hindu Personalism

Modern Hindu Personalism

Modern Hindu Personalism

This work explores the life and work of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati (1874-1937), a guru of the Chaitanya (1486-1534) school of Vaishnavism who, at a time when various interpretations of nondualistic Hindu thought were most prominent, managed to establish a pan-Indian movement for the modern revival of personalist bhakti - a movement that today encompasses both Indian and non-Indian populations throughout the world.

Hindu Theology in Early Modern South Asia

Hindu Theology in Early Modern South Asia

Hindu Theology in Early Modern South Asia

Kiyokazu Okita explores the historical development of a Hindu devotional movement in early modern South Asia. He provides a rigorous philological analysis of Sanskrit texts, which is combined with a detailed examination of the specific historical circumstances which led to their formation.